The hunt for Tesla is opened

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Tesla has lost the monopoly on luxury electric cars. Mercedes and Audi show on the Paris motor show is finally strong battery-cars. How dangerous is the new car for the Americans?

Until a few months ago, the world was for Tesla in the best order. Who was looking in the luxury car class, electric car, was the only manufacturer from California find.

Without real competition, the Elon Musk-run company has grown for many years rapidly. The monopoly has paid off: the Model S sedan, Tesla sold since the debut in 2012, more than 250,000 pieces. The attractively styled sedan obsolete in the United States for new registrations of the Mercedes S-class and the best-selling car in Norway in the meantime.

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Autograph Jaguar i-Pace:
Silence Makes

The Model X, a SUV, has found since the Start of 2015 more than 100,000 customers. Tesla has quickly evolved into a hip and cool cult brand, supported by technology-Freaks, who often act as Disciples of a sect. “Much more of a automotive Start-up,” says Stefan Bratzel, Director of the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) in Bergisch Gladbach.

The days of Tesla’s supremacy are numbered

But the days of Tesla’s sole rule in the case of expensive electric cars are counted. The eccentric Musk gets for the first time against the wind of established car manufacturers. Jaguar, Mercedes and Audi are pressing ahead with their own luxury-Streamers. Now it will show, whether the old car industry strikes back successfully – or whether the Californians are already too far ahead.

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Mercedes EQC:
SUV for the socket

As the first brand Jaguar had stunned the industry with the I-Pace. Since a few weeks, the Crossover is at the dealer. As expected, the demand is high, despite prices starting from 79,000 euros upwards. Anyone who ordered today a I-Pace, have to almost wait a year to its sleek Stromer.

Attacker to undercut Tesla on price

Two more contestants compete against Tesla’s Model X (starting from 95.000 Euro) – the Audi e-tron (from 80.000 Euro) and the Mercedes EQC (from about 73,000 Euro). For the e-tron, Audi’s first electric vehicle ever, are running commercials on television. The first e-trons are to go in this year in the hands of the customer. Mercedes is half a year longer time.

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Audi e-tron:
The tension rises

Officially, the three European luxury Stromer are not only so-called “Tesla-fighter”. The company built electric fleets, especially to the CO2 emission requirements of the legislator to comply with, says auto expert Klaus Schmitz from the consulting firm Arthur D. Little. From 2021 onwards, the cars of a manufacturer are allowed to launch in Europe on average only 95 grams of CO2 per Kilometer. Electric cars are counted as zero grams.

In fact, the new cars are measured in Tesla. Because to have success, “vehicles must be naturally competitive,” says Schmitz.

The cars in the MIRROR ONLINE comparison

Are you the one? MIRROR ONLINE has driven all these cars, and has examined how well the new battery-cars from Europe in different disciplines, compared with the Tesla’s cut.


Charge of the Mercedes EQC

Range and Recharge: the fear of The stay is for a lot of motorists continues to be a basic, no E-vehicle to buy. Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar want to cut off in this discipline not much inferior to Tesla. In the case of all three, it is the range is the new WLTP-method of measurement in more than 400 kilometers. You remain a little below what the promise of the Californians. Audi stresses that the e-tron is the first production electric car, its battery can handle a load capacity of up to 150 kW, and the battery is filled in less than half an hour to 80 percent. Tesla comes to 120, Mercedes 110 kW. Play Audi’s trump card, however, only one of the very rare DC-Quick-charger.



Charging infrastructure: the success of the Tesla-fighter decide not only the car itself. A lead of Tesla drivers have, for the time being, to continue the charging infrastructure. With a gigantic effort of Elon Musk in the major markets led to a network of Super-Charger charging stations to install, in which its customers travel free electricity. For new customers, there is the energy now it is not at zero cost, but still strong at a discount.

With high-pressure Audi and Mercedes drive, therefore, together with Volkswagen, Porsche, BMW and Ford the Development of High-Power Charging stations (HPC). For this purpose they have founded the joint company Ionity. Until 2020 are planned across Europe for 400 locations on motorways and main transport axes in 120 Kilometer distance. In addition, Audi wants its e-tron buyers with a special card access to 80 percent of the 65,000 public charging points, distributed over the whole of Europe. Similar Figures Jaguar offers its I-Pace-buyers.


The trunk of the Jaguar I-Pace

Size and space: in Addition to points want to the Europeans about the body shape. Not in vain has chosen the “Anti-Tesla Trio” for SUV. “This type of vehicle promises to be the world’s best marketing opportunities, in economic terms, so the most sensible approach,” said auto expert Stefan Bratzel. Visually, most athletic it has been implemented in Jaguar. I-Pace is with a length of 4.68 meters, while the smallest, but due to its increased 100 percent to the electric drive Chassis on the longest wheelbase (2.99 meters) and 90 kWh of battery capacity. The Mercedes EQC provides at its outer length of 4.76 meters and a wheelbase of 2.87 metres also around 90 kWh of energy. Audi has positioned its e-tron with 4.90 meters between the Q5 and Q7, comes to 2.93 meters wheelbase and creates space for 95 kWh. The Model X is at 5.04 meters longer, so once again, 14 more inches than the Audi e-tron.

Due to its size, the e-tron also comes in the trunk of the Tesla on the next: 660 liters, with folded rear seat 1725 reject even a Liter, are in the tracker box is the best value. The I-Pace reached 565 to 1453 liters. In addition, 27 liters still fit in the front under the hood, the e-tron is a 60 Liter because an electric motor can be more compact than a gas. This advantage Mercedes uses so, that’s where the space is consumed completely for your electrical components.

The Model X will remain in this discipline first of all, uncatchable. The front of the under the hood space for 187 liters, behind the front up to 2493 litres sitting. A minimum value to the Americans not to give, he is likely to be in excess of 750 liters.


Jaguar I-Pace on overland travel

Driving dynamics: the E-tron, EQC and I-Pace with Tesla’s entry-level models at a similar level. The electric motors, respectively, a front and a rear – of the European trio to deploy between 294 and 300 kW of system power, to provide torque of 664 Newton meters (Audi), 696 (Jaguar) and 765 Nm (Mercedes). Thus accelerations are possible, the get is otherwise just high-profile sports cars. Tesla’s Model X in the base version 245 kW 328 HP. The strongest model, however, comes at 568 kW (773 PS).

Tesla’s Model S and Model X to be in the top 250 km/h. Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar, the speed limit on 180 to 200 km/h, in order to save energy and gain range.

Tom Grünweg

The Model X, not everything fits perfectly

Quality and processing: What to count on great performance, if, as in the case of Tesla, the Rest is not always to the Premium claim of the buyer fits? As the pioneer of California certainly has catching up to do, both for what concerns the matching accuracy of the body joints as well as in terms of the quality in the interior. Surfaces, choice of materials and the craftsmanship could be given of the sale price better. In the range, Audi plays to its Strengths. In the e-tron everything is to the tenth of a Millimeter, the feel is of the Finest quality. The potential Tesla customers, it should dawn on that with the European newcomers to serious competitors are on the cable, for which he was significantly less pay, but more quality.


Cameras instead of exterior mirrors the Audi e-tron

Image and brand strength: For Tesla speaks, that the brand is emotionally charged. The vehicles polarize and offer at least felt more technology than other models – such as the auto-pilot. “It is therefore questionable whether the Tesla customer will be to lure back the traditional mass producers – even if their models are priced below the Tesla range,” says Peter Fintl, expert in technology and innovation consulting, Altran.

Especially Audi, however, but the e-tron, his “lead-by-technology”image strategy. So small cameras – a novelty to sit on the Türflanken of the e-tron in place of the exterior mirrors in the automotive industry. The images are transferred to Displays that sit at the top of the door panel. Also for the first time in a production vehicle, together with Conti-developed brake system is used. It is to recover energy when braking, better than any previous System.


Porsche Mission E

The next Tesla-hunters are already planned

The first serious Tesla opponents from Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar will not stay long. The Ingolstadt show in the next year, the e-tron Sportback, and come 2020 with the e-tron GT. The latter, together with the Porsche Taycan (working title: Mission E) developed. The is another candidate who is likely to reset the Tesla. The Taycan of Taycan Sport Turismo follows. And the realignment of the Zuffenhausen-based company. The next Generation of the SUV Macan will be offered with E-drive.

Mercedes from Tesla in the coming years, several models of driving. The bandwidth ranges from compact EQA to the flagship EQS. And, ultimately, the electric motors are also used in the BMW to Rotate. A whole generation of cars gave the Bavaria to the innovative i3 incomprehensible way, to elapse, do not want to go to 2020 with a modified X3 at the Start, before then, a year later, with the i4 sport sedan for BMW, the new era in E-mobility starts.

But in the course of the coming months should show whether the traditional manufacturer Tesla can one – or overtake. Their first large E-cars near the place: For the Californians in the coming years are likely to be anything other than easy.

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