Tesla Led Charge, but several Premium EVs come: NPR

A Jaguar I-Pace, the first electric vehicle from the premium car manufacturer, charges during an event in Barcelona, ​​Spain, in May.

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SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

A Jaguar I-Pace, the first electric vehicle from premium carmaker, charges during an event in Barcelona, ​​Spain, in May.

SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Alex Schefer loves his Teslas model S he and his wife use to tie their children around, the Roadster which is part of their premium car sharing club.

But he has waited not so patiently to have any other options for luxury electric vehicles.

"This car came out in 2012," he says, behind the wheel of model S. "In 2015, Porsche said," Hey, we're going to do this mission E. "And that's great. I love Porsches, but now is That 2019 and I still can't buy one. "

He mustn't wait much longer. That the electric Porsche, now renamed Taycan, comes out later this year, as the first electric Mercedes.

And two new luxury electrodes are already on the market: Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron.

It is no exaggeration to say that the luxury electric vehicle was invented by Tesla. And the California-based automaker has undoubtedly paved the way for these new rivals selling for $ 70,000 and up.

The new entrants put fresh competitive pressure on a company that has struggled to increase production and make money with the tighter margins of a mass market car. But Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he welcomes arrivals.

"Our goal all along has been to try to get the rest of the automotive industry to go electric," he said in March. "This is great."

Established premium car manufacturers are not just motivated by the Tesla model. They are also run by state regulations. In the United States, it means the zero-emission vehicle mandates adopted by California and other states that follow its leadership.

Such regulations have long invested in electric cars. But for a long time, big car manufacturers reacted half-heartedly to the mandates. They wanted to build compliance cars – less than appealing cars, for sale only in states that demanded it, rarely advertised and low-low.

Car manufacturers said this was because they lost money on each one. Chelsea Sexton, an electric vehicle attorney, says it was a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"As long as things are not available, they will never sell," she says. "People can't buy what's not out there."

But the new generation of premium electric, those who go toe to toe with Tesla, represents a shift. They are available in all states. And they are hardly underestimating survival cars.

"One of the things that struck me about the Audi e-throne is that it was such normal " Rebecca Lindland says. , an independent auto analyst writing on You do not disturb, you are not victims. You run a very good Audi. And by the way, it is electric. "

Ask Jaguar product manager Dave Larsen why the company did I-Pace and You will hear about" combined 400 horsepower "and" zero-to-60 time of about 4 1/2 seconds "and" incredible driving on the road. "

One word you do not want to hear: emissions. [19659008] And the North America president of Porsche, Klaus Zellmer, recently wrote an up-turn on the rise of electric cars, mentioning sustainability almost as an afterthought, after Emphasis on electric cars' "immediate power and sporty handling."

Tesla also emphasized the vehicle's performance – but it appealed self-consciously to early adopters, people who wanted to buy something conspicuous out of the ordinary.

Meanwhile, more affordable electric cars have , like Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt, marketed as environmentally friendly electric.

Analyst Sam Abuelsamid says manufacturers are now seeing a larger share of the car purchase market.

"It's a b estemt segment of the audience who wants an environmentally friendly vehicle – they want to show their green credentials, he says. "But the reality is that most consumers just want a nice car that drives well, looks good."

"We're no longer in this very early adoption phase," said Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar – the luxury electric brand launched by Volvo. Polestar will release its first premium electric model next year and sell For the first time $ 63,000.

The electric vehicle market is becoming "much more sophisticated," he says, "establishing an ecosystem for various car brands that only make this electric market a much more mature and attractive offer for the customer." [19659008] But will these new deals attract customers who are not actively seeking a car that comes with a charging current?

There is one thing analysts will look at when these new options come on the market, and that's not just a question for Porsches and Audience of the World

Currently, all major car dealers are working with electric vehicles, at all price points, to beat the market over the next few years.

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