Tesla Motors Inc. might need to start fighting to maintain its market lead in the EV space in the next couple of years. Reuters reports that German automaker, Volkswagen is ready to battle Tesla in the EV space as it unveils EVs for its Audi and Porsche premium flagships to take on Tesla and divert minds away from the upcoming Model X. This German move attests to the fact that Tesla’s lead in the pure EV space is being challenged by global brands that already have repute in making premium cars.
The Reuters report holds that Audi and Porsche unveiled some pure EVs today at the Frankfurt auto show to show a marked change from their previous plans of making hybrid cars. It was reported that Audi unveiled its e-tron quattro sport-utility concept, which is the brand’s first electric model designed for series production. Porsche also unveiled its first-ever battery-powered sports car to mark its official interest in the high-performance electric car market.
Tesla has been warned
Tesla still has a lead in the pure EV market; after all, its cars are already on the road while rivals are still about two years away from delivering their first car. Tesla has been given fair warning about the interest of these heavyweight automakers in its market.
In August, news broke that Audi was teaming up with Samsung and LG produce a battery that will power an EV with enough range to make Tesla’s Model X look like a toy. Few days later, another news broke that Audi was building an EV SUV with a 310-mile range has a direct rival to Tesla’s Model X. In fact, Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s R&D chief was quoted saying, “We will optimally integrate the innovative cell modules developed with LG Chem and Samsung SDI into our vehicle architecture.”
Less than a month later, Audi has gone ahead to unveil the concept car for an EV to challenge Tesla’s Model – and there’s no doubt that the rivalry is real. In addition, the cars that Audi and Porsche displayed seem to be ahead of Tesla’s current offerings – at least in terms of range. For instance, Audi’s e-tron Quattro will have a range of 311 miles (500KM) and Porsche’s car will have the same range – note that the Porsche is a sports car.
Tesla still has an edge
Despite the growing competition in the pure EV space, Tesla still has an edge over riavls. To start with, it already has cars on the road while many of its rivals are still at the design stages of their cars. Tesla has the roadster and Model S on the road. Model X weeks away from its first delivery, and the mass-market Model 3 is less than two years away. In contrast, both Audi and Porsche said their electric cars won’t be see market launch until the 2018-2019 season.