Do Petrol Heads Dream Of Electric Cars?

Renault Fluence ZE Better Place in the rain with flagsI’ve been quiet of late here at Israellycool but suffice it to say I’m still in love with my car and Better Place. I’m approaching a year of ownership, have ticked past 17,000 km (though I’ve driven almost 1,500 km more in borrowed electric cars). I still have no regrets from my choice.

There’s an article on Green Car Reports about how Tesla’s Model S car may well be outselling Mercedes, BMW and Audi in rather narrow category of large luxury car in the US. This may well be technically correct it.

Tesla said on April 1 that it delivered “more than 4,750″ Model S cars during the first quarter of this year, from January 1 to March 31.

In comparison, here are the first-quarter sales for the large luxury competitors:

  • Audi A8:1,462
  • BMW 7-Series: 2,338
  • Lexus LS: 2,860
  • Mercedes-Benz S Class: 3,077

There is one car in the large luxury segment that outsold the Tesla Model S, however.

That’s the 2013 Cadillac XTS, the newly introduced replacement for the previous DTS (itself derived from the old De Ville). Fully 7,130 XTSes were delivered from January through March.

This got me thinking about what is going on.

It has been my contention for a while: the luxury car makers are in deep, deep doo-doo land. They’ve spent decades (a century in some cases) learning to make a car with the lowest possible “NVH” Noise Vibration and Harshness.

Decades of fine engineering knowhow, careful fabrication and painstaking attention to detail are all rendered completely devalued when Renault can build a Fluence ZE in Turkey (Turkey!) that rivals any BMW 3 series, Audi A4 or Merc C class.

At the upper end, with the huge margin S class barges, Tesla will eat them for breakfast too.

All you have to do is take out the exploding bit at the front and the entire nature of the car changes to something so refined it costs thousands more to match.

About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

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  • Nate

    I’m kind of surprised that Better-Place versions of the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe have not already appeared on the scene.

    As a Petrol(/Diesel)-Head currently outside of Israel, my ideal EV in theory would be a hot hatchback or coupe with the roughly 265-300 mile range of the Tesla Model S (85 kWh battery) and featuring something akin to Better-Place’s Battery-Swap tech (along with fast-charging to 80-100% in under 5-10 mins).

    Before now, did Israel ever consider adopting Kei Car inspired regulations?

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