Fisticuffs: BMW exec takes jabs at the Tesla Model S

fisticuffs bmw exec takes jabs tesla model s 2014 i3 exterior front right angle

Can’t we all just get along?

There’s no doubt that automakers have a tendency to feel a little bit of friendly rivalry between brands; after all, that’s why we call them competitive in the first place. However, as more and more electric vehicles find their way into production, it seems like the tension is especially high. This time, it’s BMW and Tesla that aren’t playing well in the sandbox.

Months back, Bloomberg reported that Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned that BMW had “room to improve the i3,” suggesting that the small electric car didn’t quite measure up to Tesla’s larger, more refined Model S.

BMW North America President Ludwig Willisch has returned fire, according to a recent interview with BusinessInsider. In the interview, Willisch points out that BMW’s new i3 is made of higher-strength, lighter-weight materials, from a considerably more environmentally-conscious process. 

“We start off by producing carbon fiber in Moses Lake, Washington, with hydropower,” said Willisch. “Then we use fully recyclable materials to build the car. We build the car with wind power. So the whole production cycle is fully sustainable.”

Willisch also goes on to point out that the i3 maintains BMW fun-to-drive personality, for a considerably more affordable price than the Model S. After all, the BMW i3 can be had for just over $35,000 after the federal tax credit, while the cheapest Tesla still rings in at over $63,000.

Regardless of whose car is better and which one really makes the most sense to drivers today, we’re just excited to see more electric cars finding their way to the streets. For our garage, we’ll have an i3 and a Model S, and we’ll take the BMW i8 when it arrives, too, thanks.