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BMW CEO to quit after carmaker loses early lead in electrics (apnews.com)
170 points by reddotX 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 274 comments

As others have pointed out, BMW has been in the EV market for years now with the i3 and i8. I think where they dropped the ball is that they seemingly didn't want to cannibalize sales of their other vehicles.

The i8 is extremely niche and low-volume and can't be much of a factor for them. This left the i3 as their only EV offering. But the i3 is so unlike everything else they make, that they can't build on their appeal to people who already like their cars. That really doesn't build on any of BMW's strengths in the auto industry, in fact it attempts to avoid all of their strengths in the market (German sports luxury vehicles with a lot of history). This it really hard for them to compete with Tesla and other EV makers that are going right for the core of BMW's customer base.

I think part of it was that they didn't want to cannibalize themselves, but surely BMW would rather be cannibalized by BMW than eaten by Tesla. They just didn't have the strength to make that move, for whatever reason.

I think there's a lot of insight in this comment. I also believe a lot of customers (current and potential) would really like to buy an EV from an established car maker rather than a new comer, and I believe they really want it to look and feel just like a 3-series, or 5-series, or whatever they're called – not the abomination that is i3. I believe this is what everyone except Tesla understands, and I really don't know but maybe it's exactly for the reasons you lay out: they don't want to cannibalize on the gas guzzler series. But if they don't eat themselves, someone else sure will!

My abomination i3 is the best car I’ve ever owned. To each there own, I personally think it looks like it came out of Blade Runner and the only real complaint I have is I wish it were AWD and had wider, less bicycle-like tires.

Just to be clear, I do think the i3 and cars like them have a place in the market, and kudos to BMW for getting outside of its comfort zone and shipping something new that has found an audience.

However, if I were running BMW (and it's surely best for everyone that I'm not), I wouldn't want the i3 to be the core of my EV business. The day-to-day bread-and-butter EVs should target the same demographic sweet spots as BMW's gas guzzlers: expensive but not too expensive, comfortable, attractive, high-performance vehicles with (at least perceived) consistently high quality for components, engineering, innovation, and some combination of classy design and sporty sexiness.

People can argue whether or not they've ever consistently nailed all or any of those marks, but at the very least, that is the niche that BMW aspires to be in in the auto industry, and the niche it has had the most success in occupying. BMW has had great success making a certain type of motorcycle and certain types of cars, and I've got to think they'd have great success making a certain type of EV if they fearlessly applied themselves to doing it. Maybe they've realized their mistakes and are doing that now, who knows, but they're years behind where I wish they were. :( I still think they can catch up as long as they've at least gotten their vision together by now.

I’m sure it’s a great car but man it looks terrible, and I’m willing to bet a lot of consumers are just as vain as I am. It is of course just my opinion, and as you say: to each their own. I’m glad you like your car, but if I was to buy an EV I want it to look like a regular car – not like something out of blade runner.

Personally, it looks great if you think man-made stuff should look man-made.

Since we're playing this game, the BMW i3 looks bad to me.

Of course not everything "interesting and/or unusual" is good design, but in this case I think it holds.

> I wish it (had) less bicycle-like tires.

Agree completely. I absolutely love the i3 (especially the futuristic design, and the rex engineering), and was going to try to get one at some point -- until I discovered the bicycle tires.

I'm not sure it's even safe to drive on US roads with tires like that. Did BMW forget that potholes are a thing?

Traded in my AMG-variant Mercedes for an i3 almost five years ago, and, while I miss the Mercedes, which was far more sure footed than any BMW i've known (probably courtesy of AMG), the i3 is a great entirely weird nerdmobile. And its tail end opens like the back of a cargo plane...just weird and useful.

Tires cost a fortune because they're annoyingly thin, so wear down fast, and only are made by Bridgestone, I think. Handling is great: carbon fiber and alumin[i]um.

My bro-in-law had one and liked it, then moved to Nebraska. First snowfall they had to get rid of it - it was terrible on anything slippery.

Then he had the wrong tires, guaranteed.

Exactly - bicycle tires.

Perhaps the parent meant to suggest https://www.bmwblog.com/2015/04/04/bmw-i3-winter-tires-revie... for the winter. At least according to that review, using the winter tires would have been better in the snow.

Of course if you’d rather run all-weather tires without the hassle of changing from summer to winter tires, it seems like the i3 is a bad choice.

The 19" tire is "All Season" rated. The 20" performance tire is "Summer Only." So if you want an i3 "without the hassle" you simply get one with the more-common 19" wheels.

Yep. I rock all season tires on my (not an i3) car as well. They’ll never be great in the snow, but I live in an area where snow is rare so that’s fine.

I can certainly imagine the “bicycle” tires must not be very good at all in the snow unless they’re the specialized winter version!

My mechanic said the cost of tire replacements is nuts on them.

$180 apiece. (our i3 has the 19" wheels. No idea what the 20" go for) Some Costcos stock them, ours had to order and it arrived next day.

I'd expect this cost is in the ballpark for their other cars.

I can't provide a source right now, maybe Matt Farah, but I've always heard i3s are of extremely high quality. Perhaps people like to project their range anxiety onto the rest of the vehicle?

I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s not so much the quality that puts me off, it’s the appearance. I personally think it’s ugly and there’s way too much “noise” in its aesthetics, for lack of a better term. But as the previous commenter said, to each their own. I’m sure it’s a fine car. It’s just not the aesthetic I’d go for, especially as far as BMWs go.

It really is. The entire body is carbon fiber. We had a major hailstorm about a year back and it trashed everyone's car except mine at my office. No damage. I also had a joker run a light and clip my left-rear quarter panel - moving me about 1.5 feet in the process - also no damage.

I'm actually leasing mine and plan on buying one used. You can find them for sub-25k and quite honestly it's one of the best values EV-wise you can find.

Yes that's the problem with electrics, even when they try to make them unappealing people still love them.

Is electric AWD more like a low-end AWD (like Haldex) or can it actually compete with quattro?

With fully independent powertrains for both alxes (and potentially, for each of four wheels), electric AWD is potentially better that anything that mechanical AWD can offer.

I say "potentially" because one can always screw it up with bad (or poorly tuned) software.

>everyone except Tesla understands

Why do you claim this?

Tesla cannot change the fact that they are a newcomer. They can only stand by their vehicles as best they can (which has been difficult for body work, but most mechanical issues can be handled efficiently).

Furthermore, the look of Tesla vehicles is 100% optimized for drag efficiency. Most electric car purchasers care about range a lot more than look...

> Why do you claim this?

Because they are the only manufacturer of EVs that look and feel mostly like regular cars. It's really that simple. Also, please don't miss the "I believe" part of my statement, I have zero facts to back this up, it's just my opinion.

> Furthermore, the look of Tesla vehicles is 100% optimized for drag efficiency.

Who cares? I want my car to be 100% optimized for not looking like a deranged design experiment. I want it to look like all the other cars. I, just like most other people, aren't special and don't really care to look that way either.

>Because they are the only manufacturer of EVs that look and feel mostly like regular cars.

Did you mean to write "nobody except Tesla understands" in your previous comment? This reads like you've accidentally trash talked them while trying to praise them, and now you're in a weird disagreement with someone you kind of agree with.

Yes, of course! I didn't even realize my mistake, and now it's too late to change. Thanks for the correction, and my apologies for the confusion.

Jaguar makes iPace model now that can compete with Tesla on looks and even beat it on UX

I don’t think you can actually buy them. Or the wait is over a year.

In Europe you can buy it straight from the dealership. It's been available for almost a year.

at what price though?

Starts at $70k apparently, about the same as the Model S starting price (though obviously much higher than the Model 3 or, likely, Model Y)

I thought the model 3 was basically 60k if you put in minimal accessories. How do they compare on that?

Model 3 now starts at 39500 with Autopilot.

60k will get you the Performance Model with 0-60 in 3.2s and 11.6 1/4 mile

> I want it to look like all the other cars.

So buy a LEAF (which looks just like a Prius) or buy a Bolt (which looks just like a Spark) or an Outlander EV (which is almost identical to a regular Outlander) or an Ioniq (which looks like an Elantra) or a Kona EV (which is almost identical to a regular Kona SUV).

There are plenty of electric cars that look like traditional boring cars, if that's really the only thing holding you back.

> So buy a LEAF (which looks just like a Prius)

The new one does. The old one is as different as it can be.

isnt Hyundai competitive now, and they look like cars?

Yes, but there is no real production so you can’t get one.

Completely agree with you there, both the i8 and the i3 in my opinion look like electric vehicles you'd read about in a sci-fi novel, but neither are cool or sexy.

Honestly the world needs more unique-looking cars. Every 4-door sedan made after 2000 or so looks like the same boring identical “bar of soap with wheels”. With only a few minor differences (headlight and tail light shape, grill, etc. from a large distance only car experts tell any of the major brands apart visually.

I'm old enough to remember (although I didn't particularly notice it at the time) when headlights were standardized. In fact, I've got a car from the 80s right now, and the (pop-up) headlights are round and say "Sylvania".

I don't think that the diversity of headlights is an exception to the rule of cars all looking the same, but rather one instance out of many of designers having far more freedom than they did historically, and so there's a lot more variation in what they produce.

Fewer and fewer people are buying sedans, but it's easy to pick a couple to contrast. Take the Ford Fusion and Taurus. The Fusion is all ovals, while the Taurus seems to be made out of chamfered blocks and trapezoids. Or consider the previous generation Hyundai Sonata. The current one is generic looking, I would agree, but the one sold from 2010-2014 looked like no other sedan that I've seen.

I remember when Kia and Hyundai were known as cheap Korean cars, whoever is in charge of branding has really done a great job turning things around. I especially love the look of the 2019 genesis and the Kia stinger is quite interesting, it feels very American in a way I can't describe when I see one on the road.

Kia Stinger looks American, in my opinion, due to the vents forward and aft of the front wheels; tall blunt nose, high rear with short rear window.

It looks a bit like a Mustang.

I just read that the designer of the stinger was previously designing for Audi, I can see a pretty similar resemblance to the a7 in the rear.

And engineering. I used to think the long warranty was just because it was guaranteed to break, but having gone a decade with friends going through their entire life cycles they’re very sturdy cars. Definitely giving Honda a run for the money.

Oh come now, the industry gives you both kinds of design: “Two box” and “Three box!”

I decided on an i8 over the Tesla model S. The driving experience and the interior quality of the i8 was, IMO, superior. It was a close call mind you. I even put down a 4K deposit on the Tesla.

I felt the i8 was an £80k car with £30k of tech, whereas the Tesla was a £30k car with £80k tech.

As an unexpected bonus, my pregnant wife found it easier to get in and out the i8 compared to standard cars entries :)

You will be out of seats soon...

It's not an abomination it has some flaws which don't affect me, others that make me compromise a bit (drive more slowly, stop more often), but some reasons I chose it other than it being the only affordable electric car available that met all my requirements, was because of the bmw quality and attention to detail which are also hallmarks of the brand.

The 3-series and 5-series have had electric options (330e & 550e) for some time now.

They both are hybrids so don’t even fall under the same category as electric cars for most people.

The bmw website doesn’t even show options for 330e so that seems to be discontinued and for the 530e the electric range is 16 miles, so basically a luxury Prius.

Not sure where the 330e went, but there's going to be a 2020 hybrid X1.

I don't know where you're based, but I wonder if that's a US perspective? I've been driving a PHEV in the UK for 5 years, and perhaps 50% of my colleagues with EVs also have hybrids (including a couple with the 330e); I've never known anyone say they're not electric cars before.

The 330e is still available on the BMW UK website.

Yeah I don't really consider hybrids EVs to be honest. I want to get off fossil fuels, not have a token battery that barely gets me out of the driveway.

If 90 percent of your battery is used to cover the 5% of your travels that a PHEV's battery doesn't cover, it seems like it could potentially be more wasteful to own a BEV.

(I checked and it seems that a Tesla model 3 does indeed have a battery on the order of ten times the capacity of, say, a Prius Prime)

My token battery gets me to work 20 miles away, and I rarely fire up the ICE, but it means that I can still drive from London to Scotland with only a single stop for petrol.

How is this an achievement? I drove from London to Edinburgh with no stops for fuel in a diesel car. Hybrid presumably should do better.

You left out the part about where they use zero fossil fuels for their daily commute.

Unfortunately you can't get off fossil fuels by buying a car - they contain embedded energy of which a large percentage comes from fossil fuels.

If the lifetime of a vehicle is say 400000 kms, I calculate that a new Prius emits less CO2 than a new Model S if manufacturing etc is included.

It highly depends on energy mix that Model S uses (ie. compare Quebec to Ontario): http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/nrg/ntgrtd/mrkt/snpsht/2018/09-01-1...

embedded energy (production) for EV is higher but not that much higher https://blog.ucsusa.org/rachael-nealer/gasoline-vs-electric-...

From that blog: "Driving an average EV results in lower global warming emissions than driving a gasoline car that gets 50 miles per gallon (MPG)".

A Prius gets approx 50 MPG!

We’re in a transition phase, so hybrids are a practical solution for a lot of people. A “token” battery is useful to a lot of people. Especially those living in the city. Electric charge points aren’t abundant just yet.

> Electric charge points aren’t abundant just yet.

Every wall socket is a charge point, and most people have dozens of those around their house. They're surely more abundant than petrol stations.

240 V 50 A dryer outlets are said to work pretty well, if you happen to own a house. Normal 15 A appliance outlets barely work (Tesla says one hour per three miles!) and no apartment building has ever offered me a parking space that had one.

I wouldn't buy a pure-electric until nearly all apartments have charging, and that work has barely started.

Just to clarify, I was talking about inner city. Most existing apartment blocks (in London) don’t have charge points available in their car park.

On top of that, I find public charging points to be hit and miss. Quite often you find ICE only cars taking the space or the charging points just out of service/neglected.

I do look forward to the day when electric charging networks are available everywhere with rapid charging.

A lot of people in cities don't have "their house" and don't want to hang a 50m cable out of their window.

“Around their house”- key point when youre not near home.

Those are plugin hybrids with pretty anemic all-electric range.

What electric range do they have? 1 mile? 30?

It is not just the market, it is the people and infrastructure too.

Think about that for a moment, you are trained as a mechanical engineer. You know about motors, transmissions and all the complexity involved in creating a combustion engine car, like handling fluids, pumps and so on.

Now, you are going to take a decision that destroys engines, your new cars are not going to have engines. Transmissions are extremely simple or do not exist. The entire car does not need to resist the forces of the engine and transmission. No pumps and brakes last the entire life of the car.

This means mechanical engineers are not needed, and you already have them. Under German law, it is extremely difficult to let them go, and they are your pals,btw.

The infrastructure of cars is extremely expensive, several 1000s millions of dollars per plant. This is amortized in decades. If you buy a thousand lathes that make pieces for 20 years and after 10 years demand for those pieces disappear... your lathes cost at least double.

But the most important thing: Germany is good making mechanical things, but not the leader in batteries or electronics, Japan, US, Taiwan and China are.

Electric cars still require mechanical engineers, and probably a similar number of them to an IC car. Except for the engine itself, most things are not engineered in-house, suppliers like Bosch/ZF/etc provide components to specs.

Most car companies today are really engine companies. They stamp and weld the bodies and build the engines and everything else is out sourced. EVERYTHING ELSE! So the original commenter is correct they would have to lay off half their people to convert to electric motors.

In what business is the opportunity to reduce payroll a disincentive to investment? At worst they can be paid to retire.

It sounds almost as if you are arguing that BMW does not want to invest heavily in EV because the cost of labor is not high enough. That's absurd. The logical conclusion is that they should pay them to retire.

I think we are reading too much into the EV aspect of the story. At the end of the day it is all about making money. BMW are not so good at that these days. China has not been the gravy train that it looked to be and the anticipated sales growth in the world's largest car market has failed to materialise. Sad considering the lengths that BMW have gone to with the big nostrils on their models.

BMW fans still like the product however fast, rear-wheel drive saloon cars are a dying segment of the market. The once invincible three series is just not as common on the roads as it used to be.

Making SUV models in North America is a good idea for Americans insatiable desire to buy European brand vehicles and Americans desires to buy SUVs. But, no offence to American labour or supply chains, it is a bit of a final assembly screwdriver operation. The engines and plenty else comes from Germany. Some components did make it over to South Carolina but you can't say the plant is a charitable effort to hire U.S. workers or a means of tapping into U.S. automotive worker skills, it is a money making machine that gets around tariffs, Chicken Tax or not.

BMW EV cars are not strictly about being EV. The electric bits come from Bosch, the same Bosch that supply every other EV maker apart from Tesla. You just buy those bits.

What BMW did and is quite commendable is carbon fibre. They are the only mass market manufacturer making passenger cells in carbon fibre. They went into it big time with the i3 and i8.

What is also interesting about BMW is how they are owned. Most auto manufacturers are owned by the banks. They don't really own their stuff any more than a mortgage owner owns their own house. They are paying interest. To the banks. BMW are different, they own all their own stuff and don't owe the banks. This is quite admirable.

For automakers like BMW the EV market is to them what the vegetarian market is to McDonalds. Sure we should all stop eating meat and save the planet but that ain't gonna happen. Falling sales in burgers, now that is a real problem. Same with ICE cars for the likes of BMW.

> They just didn't have the strength to make that move, for whatever reason.

The reason is well known: BMW has been too focused on sustaining innovations extending their current strengths than disruptive innovation that will eventually displace them -- classic Clayton Christensen:

Christensen, Clayton M. The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1997.


Exactly this. It seems to be a natural cycle in most industries where there comes out a viable disrupter. Newcomer comes in to lead the pack in a differentiated part of a given market. They lead for years and displace their existing counterparts who fail to pivot for the sake of short term profit. "How can we risk X number of quarters or even years to sink profits back into R&D to become better and compete for years to come? What about next quarter?". The message is always the same from the incumbent side: they claim they're not concerned as new tech is a niche, then they realize the miss and spread FUD, and then they half ass enter to see if anyone's paying attention but the product still isn't near their competitor.

I saw this first hand in the firewall market starting back in 2012ish. Palo Alto Networks came to the plate with a fundamental shift. "Safely enable applications" was one of their original selling tactics. This went against other firewalls that were playing whack-a-mole with ports and IPs, where PAN was focusing on applications (App-ID). The founder, Nir Zuk, even made fun of his competitors (he had a very public rivalry with Gil Shwed, CEO of Checkpoint) by using "Innovators Dilemma" to showcase their failures to innovate based on the fact that they had a huge customer base they didn't want to disrupt, again in the name of quartely earnings and appeasing Wall Street. Fast forward 7+ years and PAN has eaten it's competition, but hasn't innovated in 4+ years. Now the company just buys up competition preemptively and will eventually realize the same fate Checkpoint did. Nir has fallen victim to his own hypocrisy. Successful? For sure. But that doesn't change the reality of their focus today (profit) vs earlier (R&D).

I think these cycles are natural and likely good for innovation within industries. Will BMW survive? Most likely. But over the next couple of decades they may be forced to reinvent, and as the article states they may be behind the rest of the pack playing catch-up due to the debt of not moving early and ignoring the intrinsic market signals.

"How can we risk X number of quarters or even years to sink profits back into R&D to become better and compete for years to come? What about next quarter?"

This is presented as shortsightedness, but that's misleading. It's not that the incumbent is willfully ignoring the threat, or choosing not to take a long view, but that they have an existing business which is much larger than the niche being attacked and they have to run that business this quarter and next. If they abandon it, they've just destroyed everything they have anyway.

If it was mere foolishness with an obvious counter, it wouldn't happen over and over again to people who think they know better.

This is not something I thought of, this is something that was explained quite well by the person who, I think, coined the term "disruptive innovation" and whose book I read in college back in the late 90s.

My Wall Street example isn't misleading. It's very well known and defined and was actually a big component to the write up about the looming Boeing bailout that hit the FP yesterday [0]. It's not about abandoning. It's about prioritizing R&D and futures equally with QoQ and YoY profits. Balancing those two is extremely important for fiscal gain and continuuing to stay relevant in the face of Innovators Dilemma.

[0] https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/the-coming-boeing-bailout

As an aside, I’m curious: who do you think will do to PAN what they did to Checkpoint and other firewall vendors? If PAN is not innovating, who is? Thanks.

Honestly, nobody - yet. Keep in mind Checkpoint also had a good 6+ year run after innovation really shifted to sales and profit. I think the disruption comes in the SDN space focusing on organic aspects within. The next buzz in software defined is SDS (software defined security). PAN did just buy Twistlock, but that model isn't disruptive IMO. The hardware firewall is effectively dead. With TLS 1.3 and HTTP/3 they will be relegated to a clunky door stops in the network. PAN is on a buying spree to get ahead of what they can't figure out how to develop and get ahead of the looming drop in hardware sales. Look at "Prisma" or "Cortex XD". Effectively rename and rebrand existing, legacy products that didn't sell and aren't effective that marketing got a hold of. Prisma is just PAN running VMs in the cloud for customers on GCP. A) That's a horrible model for efficiency because the underlying technology is still the same (OpenVPN/IPsec) and B) it's a great model for sales because they upcharge like nuts for something simple to run. Finally, PAN wants to sell anyone and everyone an ELA. Why? Because they can't sell the majority of their bought and paid for product line item by item. So instead of try they get customers hooked into paying 10, 15, 20 percent more than what they would have buying some firewalls and they toss in software for "free" knowning very well that said customer likely won't use half of it. It's also a great lockout model. Take the CASB space for example. Why not buy an ELA from PAN and get firewalls and Aperture included than buy firewalls and Netskope? There's no reason when you look at it through the lens of procurement and PAN knows this.

I would suggest taking a look at Hybrid Cloud Workload Protection.

I can break down the buzzwords a little:

- Hybrid Cloud = Works in an on-premises DC and public cloud(s) - Workload = Works on bare-metal servers, virtual machines, and containers - Protection = - Distributed micro-segmentation (enforced via host firewalls, as close as possible to the app, sometimes integrated with the app) - Vulnerability analysis (build time and/or runtime) - Exploit detection

This is typically achieved via a small agent that runs on each "workload" backed by some type of centralized control appliance.

Guess who one of the innovators in this space is? You might not believe it...


Right?! What goes around comes around.

The CWP market is still somewhat nascent, but in my opinion, it is poised to explode.

Like the parent pointed out, the days of traditional hardware firewalls - or even worse "virtualized" versions of said boxes - are numbered, like it or not.

Disclaimer: I work on Tetration, Cisco's 3-year old in-house developed Hybrid Cloud Workload Protection product. That's right, not an acquisition.

Oh, and did I mention, the whole thing is a SaaS that requires zero hardware?

As you know Tetration has been around a number of years. While it may be one of the few in-house products, on the security side, that Cisco hasn't acquired it's very akin to Cisco ISE in my opinion. Cisco drives hardware through software because that's (still) where the margin can be made up. Tetration isn't all that different in that line of thinking. Let's look at the data sheet to find the hidden, proprietary link to hardware, shall we?

"The Cisco Tetration platform is designed to fully address these challenges, using comprehensive traffic telemetry data collected from both servers and Cisco Nexus® switches." [0]

And there it is... Also it looks like Cisco wants to sell you Tetration hardware clusters. To be fair it looks like you can also run Tetration-V on your own, but you'll still pay for licensing.

Regardless I still think this is a miss for the next decade. Partially because the solution is dependent on proprietary hardware and partially because the solution is "agent" based, which is a legacy approach to security spun out in Tetration by ties to hardware and a bundled data lake (Elastic, I assume?).

[0] https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/data-cente...

Your comment is accurate, but I would add some extra clarifications, since we run very much like a start-up, you can imagine things have changed a little over the three years!

True, you can use the Nexus 9000 switches to generate flow telemetry, however, neither are they the recommended or most popular data gathering point, that would be the software agent which has no hardware dependency.

This interestingly links to other discussions in the thread re: keeping the run-rate business strong while growing an innovative business in parallel. In Cisco, everything pays tribute to the switch, but that does not mean we are dictated by it ;) - a reasonable compromise to foster innovation.

Also true, you can buy Tetration in a physical appliance format (many customers want this for their reasons), but the majority of customers actually go for the Tetration-as-a-Service option which has no hardware dependency.

Agent based is always an interesting topic. For us, it is about getting as close as possible to the application we are to protect, and being agent based is about as close as you can go before getting into the code path, in a cross-platform, cross-infrastructure way. What this allows us to do is apply proper security controls like zero-trust that we take for granted in newer environments (like Kubernetes, which also often uses agents, they just named them sidecars) to legacy environments, where the bulk of today’s business applications still run.

+ Yes, Elastic is part of our stack, alongside a lot of other interesting technology. We process millions of events per second from all sorts of sources, like campus user logons, process executions, and new flows all in short order, detect how we should mutate the state of the "data centre" security based on the new information, then take actions like dynamically updating ACLs across tens of thousands of workloads to allow a new administrator SSH access since they logged onto a desktop in the London branch, while at the same time updating rules on the shared databases due to an application that just failed over to the secondary DC in Ashburn. I could talk on this topic for a long time as I find it highly interesting, but I'll hold on for another post.

All BMW had to do was put an electric engine in a 3 series body. Nope. Couldn't do it.

Instead, they ditched their history, customer base and treated the EV market as a total joke: i3.

My i3 is the best car I ever owned.

sorry but the i8 is not what i'd consider an ev being a hybrid only...

from: https://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/bmwi/bmw-i8.html?

"With the electric motor and combustion engine providing a total output of 369hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, the i8 Coupe and i8 Roadster more than live up to the sporting heritage of BMW – blowing through 0-60mph in as little as 4.2 seconds."

so it's also not particularly fast either... considering a non performance tesla model s with 4+ seats does 4.0s and is really an ev...

so the i8 is more of a gas car... this IMO is why it didn't sell very well either. It's not an ev and it's not that fast compared to a tesla that it was trying to position itself against...

Thank you, you're correct! TIL. I thought the i8 was an EV, I had no idea it was just another hybrid. I'm sure it's an engineering marvel, and it's really pretty IMO, but not being a pure EV makes it significantly less appealing to me. I mistakenly thought all of the i* vehicles were EVs. I'm that much more disappointed in BMW now. I am a long time fan of BMW and am in the market for a new car and really wish they offered an EV equivalent to the M3.

I was a bmw fan but now tesla. If you haven’t test driven one they are amazing.

There are many factors at play here.

Technology: BMW's bet was on lightweight materials and less on battery technology as an enabler for ecological, electric vehicles. Production is still costly and more complex than for e.g. the 3 series. Currently, there is only one plant that is equipped with the necessary manufacturing capabilities (Leipzig).

Manufacturing: You need to adapt the assembly lines, which is not as trivial as it may sound. BMW's future platforms will allow assembly of EV's along ICE's on the same belts! At that point, you can produce EVs in all of BMW's plants (... with some modifications)

Financial: BMW is not really making money with the i3, production is too costly. Given that BMW is a public company, you don't want to mass produce a product that eats your profit. Try to explain that to "traditional" shareholders that like their dividends. TSLA is an entirely different stock, which can do what it does due to its growth story.

Also: Plants cost a lot of money build and operate. Stopping the production in a plant for a while to remodel it for a different assembly process as well (... not to mention the retraining of all the workers, new logistical processes). The magnitude is somewhere in the million dollars per day.

Human factors: In German labor law, you can't just fire people. Giving up on ICEs means that you have a lot of people that are not qualified for alternative technologies and need to be retrained. This does not happen in days or weeks - at the scale of BMW this takes years and of course is happening.

Sourcing: You need to source all the materials, incl. batterie. My guess is that BMW wanted to work with established players that know car manufacturing. However, that was probably a mistake given that e.g. BOSCH decided to quit (https://electrek.co/2018/02/28/bosch-gives-up-battery-cell-p...)

Shareholders: We had the topic before, but BMW is special here that the Quandt family owns roughly 46% of BMW. Accordingly they have a major influence on all decisions at BMW. They act definitely not like an Elon Musk - they are very cautious and strategic. They also seem to act labor friendly and have a positive impact on the work conditions at BMW (... again meaning that they will make sure that BMW doesn't have to let go a lot of people).

This is classic Innovator's Dilemma behavior.

Jeremy Clarkson's surprisingly positive review[0] of the i8 made me want to take a second look at it, which I did. It was just as nice and pleasant as JC said it'd be, but there were two problems.

It was twice the price of an M3/M4. 20 million yen for the i8 versus 10million for a top of the line M3 or M4. Prices in Japan for foreign makes are already marked up, because they're perceived as a luxury good. The i8 was marked up even more. At that price, I'd rather get an Aston.

Next one is a subjective thing, it's looks are a bit too flashy doesn't it? Nice thing about the M cars (and Teslas), they blend in.

0: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk8p2R6trfE

Borders Bookstore didn't want to cannibalize sales either and they don't exist anymore.


AFAIU Borders succumbed more to overexpansion and debt than legacy-protection.




It's not a coincidence that Borders, Waldenbooks, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble all got, essentially, decimated in the same era that saw the rise of Amazon and its Kindle.

Waldenbooks had been around since 1933. Books-A-Million dates to 1917. Borders to 1971. Barnes & Noble has been around in some form for ~150 years.

It wasn't overexpansion and debt that destroyed them all (yes, some are still standing in a straggling-on-zombie sort of way).

That is not the same as saying cannibalisation-aversion killed the firm.

I'm aware the industry has seen shifts.

They also had a bunch of employee turnover and haven't done anything interesting with electric cars in ~6 years. The i3 was really good back then, boring now.

The i3 was really good in what way? Around here nobody owns one, and it seems BMW has been dumping them into the rental market with the "REACH NOW" program.

Because they never market it seriously. Where I live, it was a challenge to try one, even harder to find a salesman that can sell you the car. Nearly nobody knows about that car.

It's the only car in the industry that took seriously sustainability. (Sustainable textile, recycled material, end of life reusability and recycling. etc.)

The efficiency is excellent, about 5kwh less per 100km than a tesla. It drives great, it's powerful, fun to drive. I haven't found a i3 owner that didn't like his car yet.

With the range extender it removed range anxiety without add long recharge time on a trip. (granted with more frequent stop)

I bought a used one last week. Maybe it's the honey moon, but it's the best car I have ever own, by far.

The lack of leadership from top executive made the car unpopular, not the car itself. This also led to a lot of employee turnover because the lack of seriousness about the i series.

The i3 may be a good car for you, but it's not an alternative to a person considering a 3 or 5 series. That's the miss. While the car may be great, it's target market is small. In the US the i3 has a very small set of buyers and those buyers, if not BMW fans, will likely buy a Model 3 or Chevy Volt before the BMW. Both cars are more bang for the buck and can handle small families better/cheaper. The i3, with the range extender, basically turns the car into a hybrid - which exemplifies BMWs miss on what people want in an EV. If I'm going to buy an EV I don't want all the maintenance hassle of dealing with IC.

There have been many cars in history that have been popular beyond what top leadership has said. The failure of the i3 isn't that. It's a car that has a very small target market. If that was their goal, that's fine. But if they thought it was going to sell well BMW dropped the ball.

Regardless, it's good for you since you likely got a great deal.

> with the range extender, basically turns the car into a hybrid

That's not fair since (unless you mod it) the REX only kicks in when you get to 6% battery. In the year I have been driving the i3 I have used less then a gallon of gas.

What's not fair? That the range isn't that of it's EV peers and so instead of address this with longer range batteries BMW made a cognizant decision to give buyers the option of a hybrid? Think about your statement: "In the year I have been driving the i3 I have used less then a gallon of gas." That would terrify me more than dealing with electric range for extended trips from time to time. Why? Because gasoline has a shelf life and all IC components are generally built and expected to run on a frequent basis. If that engine truly didn't run for almost a year, and let's say that is normal for i3 owners, then BMW is going to have a large number of those "range extender" customers needing repair for failed injectors and/or fuel pumps. I don't know enough about the i3 but I'm guessing it runs by force over the year, even if not required, to overcome this? Even then you have the issue of stale, non-stabilized gas.

Yeah it runs for 10 minutes each month. The motor is from a BMW moped so the maintenance should be simpler than a regular car engine plus it is never heavily loaded - always runs at optimum RPM. I occasionally put in a 1/4 gallon to freshen it up.

The i3 isn't even in the same family as the 3 and even less the 5. Think more a Toyota C-HR, Mini Cooper, maybe Fiat 500.

That's exactly my point.

Well but underlying your point was an assumption that the 3 and 5 competed against the i3 at all. It's not a "miss" that someone in the market for a pickup truck passes on the BMWs, either.

I kind of think BMW has generally lost its way. Their model line is bananas. They're great cars in some ways but damn the electronics are a pain in my ass! Like the battery registration--no reason why you can't add a menu that tells the computer "new battery installed" oh no, can't do that, have to have dealer-level software and equipment. I had to buy a code reader type tool for $150 that can do that instead of it just being a built-in feature. This is design for purely post sales profit margin enhancement.

Also, why do automakers keep taking the spare tires away? If you live near a city, well, great, but anyone who lives outside of "town" needs to be self-sufficient.

I appreciate a lot about the car, but its time is almost up. There are some screwy German things about it that just get more annoying as time goes by and lots of things broke before even 50K miles that never broke on Toyotas and Hondas I owned. BMW needs to go back to making cars, not computers on wheels.

I3 has always been a nutty car at an outrageous price ($50k) with a $20k discount if you were a savvy shopper, but still a stupid compliance car that uses motorcycle wheels and is too small and had deep subsidies to allow BMW to play in the USA market without disturbing their precious ICE car lines ...

I couldn't imagine buying one new, but there seem to be a fair number of used i3s that are 4-5 years old and well under $20K.

i3 is very expensive, very sophisticatedly engineered, but also very shoddily engineered at the same time.

Despite using a full CFRP body, like that of supercars, mass savings were small.

It is also heavy because of tons of German luxury features that should have no place in an entry level vehicle.

It was also generically marketed on being "sporty" and "fun" to drive, while being one of the more morbid EV around, much like Chinese entry level EVs.

The design suffers from usage of enormous amount of unique, custom made parts and materials.

Basically it is an EV equivalent of Suzuki Mehran on performance and feel, but painted over to make it fit the "New Type Luxury EV" marketing concept.

Highly disagree about performance. I find it more fun to drive than my 2011 305Hp mustang.

No lag, always full torque.

> No lag, always full torque.

Just like any EV, but without ludicrous acceleration of top tier EVs, or just that of average sport car. And despite being an RWD car, it turns and handles the road not much better than FWD econoboxes, which means no actual motorsport person was involved in its design.

it's the standard innovators dilemma isn't it. They're making X amount of money, to go full into EV space, they'll make less than X amount of money temporarily while they they ramp up EVs. Yes, it's a risk but somewhat a validated one. But they will cannibalize themselves as they move to new space.

Most businesses never want to make a step that makes them less money, it has to be growth, growth, growth at any cost.

This is why startups win, because they make less than X money, and can afford to chose different paths to slowly move up. Big Corps are notoriously afraid of choosing paths that cannibalizes their main business.

Barnes & Noble, Kodak, Yahoo, Blockbuster - Got killed by that sort of thinking.

Yes this seems right and this won't be last automotive executive who makes this mistake.

The car industry has seen EVs only as compliance vehicles, sell 10% electric and you just reduced your total fleet emissions by 10%. So you might be able to stay in the business of heavy ICE luxury cars. That’s why their marketing and sales sucked there was a defined number of these to be sold and not more. Now the game is changing and the wind is turning but it’s not Tesla driving the change, it’s good old regulation. And it has always been regulation, the actors are California, China and the EU. Several countries have now decided on a defined year when the last ICE is going to be sold so the future market is already shrinking and other countries will follow. There will be no market left. Regulation.

Well will point out that Tesla has been eating BWM's lunch in the mid range luxo car market. That BWM hasn't been taking that seriously is a sign current management needs to leave.

Worse, BMW thought they were in a comfortable position to exploit their customer base for money -- cutting back on their maintenance program, warranties, etc. and banking on people to not care.

If anything, BMW was driving people away from themselves faster than customers were already fleeing to e.g. Tesla or, more recently, Audi (e-tron), Jag (i-pace) and Mercedes (EQC) for electrics.

Charging a subscription for CarPlay is unacceptable too

It's all of these little things adding up that caused me not to get a new lease two years ago.

(this might become a BMW rant, for which I apologize)

1. Reduced the 4y/50k maintenance to 3y/36k. This wasn't impactful for the average lease but slammed car owners.

2. Locked the maintenance program to the first owner -- as if they didn't hate owners enough, you had to pay extra for a maintenance program that transferred to the next owner.

3. To your point: offensive subscription charges (carplay)

4. (subjective) Bizarre styling changes on their mainstream cars, e.g. X7 and the new 7 series.

5. Refusing to produce normal electric vehicles, per the title of this article.

End result is you now have cars like the i3 and i8 cratering in value because they're hideously complex, in need of specialized maintenance knowledge, and are exceedingly unlikely to carry a maintenance plan without incurring an e.g. 2, 3, 5k fee. It's awful for BMW because now nobody wants to buy one of their more innovative cars because they'll lose 20% of their value right off the lot and another 40% in the next three years, but it's even worse for people who wouldn't mind adopting "established" electric because they don't want to chance the marked-up repairs nor do the research to figure out which cars either have pre-existing maintenance plans or how much they should pay to get all-inclusive maintenance plans that would cover their used cars.

It's just a whole bunch of dumb all around.

Are i3's really "hideously complex"? An electric motor is far simpler than an ICE. There is very little scheduled maintenance, for example. On the forums, I do not see many stories of painful repair experiences. They just work.

Maybe they were referring to the i3 REx, which also has an ICE.

Also i3s use a special, skinny tire that is really expensive

Yep looks like $600 and they only last 20-25K miles.

This is exactly what happened with incandescent light bulbs. The price for led bulbs dropped very quickly onve there was economy of scale driven by garunteed demand.

By comparison, CFLs also increased marketshare after the ban but quickly lost most of it to LED bulbs - regulation can't help if the product is poor compared to alternatives.

> Now the game is changing and the wind is turning but it’s not Tesla driving the change, it’s good old regulation.

As it should be, and that was actually Tesla's goal. Elon Musk did say that what he wants is for the world to electrify transportation, and whether or not Tesla will remain a market leader is irrelevant.

I quoted this years ago to somebody in BMW management and his reaction was hilarious.

There has been a cultural war inside of BMW for quite a while. Klaus Fröhlich, a board member and executive at BMW actually called EVS overhyped the same week that BMW unveiled their current planning around EVs.

Most reviews have the Tesla Model 3 performance outperforming the similarly priced M3. Many have the LR Tesla model 3 as competitive to sometimes beating the BMW 3 series. The sales success at Tesla has come partially at the cost of BMW car sales.

Tesla has killed one of BMWs biggest market - California. The number of Model 3s on the road far surpasses newer 3 series and this can only be the canary in coal mine. All Tesla needs to do is build out a similar Supercharger infrastructure in other big cities like we have in Bay Area and Los Angeles and it is going to be very tough for BMW to compete.

I agree with the main point of your comment.

> All Tesla needs to do is build out a similar Supercharger infrastructure in other big cities like we have in Bay Area and Los Angeles

I haven't looked in a while, so I checked out the Supercharger map for New York, DC, Chicago and Dallas, and was pretty surprised at how many superchargers are available already, with even more on the way.

They are expanding their network worldwide at an incredible pace.

Tesla 3s are all over in Reno, and we have exactly one supercharger. Which is weird, because we now have a Tesla dealership (South Reno) and the Gigafactory is just down the road.

Ah, that's pretty sparse. I did note that another near the center of town is scheduled to be open this year. There should be more though.

They may be competitive in some performance metrics, which of course does matter, but Teslas aren’t even remotely in the same league when it comes to fit and finish.

Teslas feel cheap and poorly made. The offerings have some pretty stark differences.

At the same time, from a driving perspective, the Model 3 systematically outclasses the experience of driving a 3-series. And not by a little. I like both but they are not comparable.

When your competitor has bested you on the primary function of your product; is perceived by consumers as way cooler than you; holds a decisive technology advantage in an area that is perceived as critical to the long-term survival of your product; and your only response is "better fit and finish" -- well, I think this is a very bad place for a luxury car manufacturer to be.

Actually all those would be forgivable if BMW tried.

If i3 would look like a real BMW, a lot of people would want to buy it and pay the premium price...but it doesn't have the ,,fit and finish'' of a BMW 3.

I see people online complain about fit and finish, but not sure the credibility of people like you. I own a model 3 and there is 0 issues, if you go and do a test drive then there is 80 % chance you will end up buying it if you are in the market

I’ve owned three BMW 3-Series sedans in a row. I was very very tempted by Tesla, until I actually drove one.

It feels like a Honda Civic. Like a cheap downmarket economy car. Sure it has acceleration but so does a BMW more than you’ll ever need too. The experience is obviously disappointing if you’re used to German luxury cars.

The point being, that if the German luxury brands get the hang of the electric thing Tesla’s going to be in severe danger.

> if the German luxury brands get the hang of the electric thing Tesla’s going to be in severe danger.

Of course.

I think that what is frustrating and annoying to many people is that BMW, VW, Mercedes, et al., could have done the same as Tesla and done it better but they didn't. And the only rational conclusion is that they behaved that way because they were scared that they would cannibalize their existing product lines and because a number of high ranking people in the car business would have found themselves to be irrelevant and quite likely unemployed.

They have only themselves to blame for their short sighted, self serving, polluting, cheating behaviour.

When I say fit and finish, I mean that the interior of the model 3 is more similar to a Hyundai or Toyota than a luxury car. I don’t think it’s about stuff breaking, it’s about cheap seats and not high quality plastic. Perfectly fine, but tough when you’re used to a Mercedes or Lexus. It reminds me of a civic interior with a giant iPad.

This works for lots of people, but if they could get better interiors they would do much better against luxury. But they seem to be doing pretty well against bmw as is.

I’ve heard about fit and finish issues from multiple Model 3 owners. They all like the car, very few are impressed with the company.

I was utterly unimpressed on my Model 3 test drive. A $50,000 car should ride better. The driving experience was nothing special. The few tactile controls felt like cheap toy plastic.

I did like the UI, sort of. Put it on an overlay on the windshield in front of the driver and I think you have something close to the future. I liked the concept of the customizable, simple controls on the steering wheel — the execution is unpleasant.

And yeah, you can take off quickly and go quickly. So what?

Musk needs to sit in a mid-2000’s Volkswagen Passat for an hour or so.

I vaguely remember seeing market share numbers about 5 years ago and it looked like Tesla was clawing away a lot of it's market share in the US from BMW. I think the US market is only a smaller but profitable part of BMW's business. But that should have been worrying.

> I think the US market is only a smaller but profitable part of BMW's business.

The US is the second largest single market for BMWs, behind China (China buys nearly twice as many BMWs as the US market now). It's about 14% of their total group unit volume (~350k out of ~2.5m). It's a similar number for Mercedes. For Porsche the US is about 20% of their sales.

In 1995 they sold 95,000 BMWs in the US. By 2007 that was up to 293,000. They haven't seen a huge collapse in units sold in the US (10%-12% or so), however I think the slide backwards and continued rise of Tesla is obviously very concerning as a threat. They know they have to do something right now.

I’m going to buy Model 3 Performance, but I’m still going to keep my M3, because, guess what, unlike gas stations, there are no supercharges next to the racetracks. So going for a track day in Model 3 is a really tricky proposition.

The internal politics in these companies has to be brutal - there are 1000+ people divisions not to mention hundreds of subcontracting companies to whom building an EV is an existential threat. Think ICE component engineers, gearbox experts, all the companies producing the parts for those cars... so MANY people that have vested interest into making sure that the corporation doesn't fire them and redirect resources to the EV project.

I wonder if those kind of corporations will even be able to change their direction in time.

Good. Maybe this will help. I’m not a “car guy”, but I appreciate driving dynamics enough that I special ordered a BMW, picked it up in Munich, drove around Europe, shipped it back and drove it in the states for 12 years. Really nice car.

Got to test drive the Model S a few times and was impressed. But it’s expensive, and despite the wonders of the low center of gravity and good balance, it’s heavy. Also got to try a 3-series “E” as a loaner. Turned it in wondering why the %#%* they didn’t just make it all electric, instead of the 11 mile electric range they gave it. I would have bought that car immediately.

When the model 3 came out, it seemed faster and slightly cheaper than the most comparable 3 series. Personally, I prefer the Tesla interior to the Bmw. The handling is much better than the S, and with the 3 series handling no longer the focal point, I think the Tesla is more fun to drive, too.

Which leaves me scratching my head. I can only conclude that most traditional car companies are run by ICE people who believe in tweaking engines to get more power. They just can’t imagine that electric propulsion is not just an environmental thing, but a better driving experience— instant torque, low center of gravity, great balance— all the stuff that BMW was supposed to be good at.

BMW has an overall product problem as well, not just EVs.... their newest cars' outside design is getting stale, and their cars just keep adding weight...

They are loosing their 'sporty' pedigree and credibility fast, and turning into another me-too luxury car brand, without a proper identity and/or market distinctiveness....

Their new M8 "performance grand tourer" weights almost as much as a Ford F-150 Truck.... not kidding They can add as many 'sport badges to it', it is still an overweight sedan...

The only improvement has been in interiors, where they always lagged. Their quality has actually risen last few years.

IMHO previous gen BMW models were stale. But all the new ones that came out in the recent 1-2 year have been good, including current gen 3 series.

Agree on the interior quality improving, but only because they cost too much corner in previous gen models, including F30, which was an abomination.

It's well worth watching Doug Demuro's review of both the BMW i3 and the Tesla model 3. It will give you a quick understanding of why BMW is behind the 8 ball right now with regard to EVs.

Can someone who knows cars tell me how valuable Doug Demuro's analysis is? I appreciate him as an entertainer but have no way to determine if what he's saying about the cars he reviews is accurate and/or useful.

His analyses are generally pretty good for things you notice and interact with everyday (like another user mentioned, the quirks and features). He knows when he sees bad quality, mistakes, and oversights in a car's UI/UX and design.

However, his opinion is usually based on a few days of driving and using the car, and does not reflect how ownership of the car will actually pan out. He attempts to take this into account with his "daily doug score". But by no means is this entirely accurate, and is more so a reasonable estimate based on the manufacturers history, that model, and consumer reviews.

I generally take his analyses as "This is what I thought after driving the car for a few days" and is based on his opinion, his preferences, and his thoughts. I would take his opinion into account for a rental car, but not so much when it comes to owning a car for its lifetime.

He generally owns luxury cars or sports cars that are out of reach for most people, and I'm sure he has spent a lot of money on them (although it may be worth it if they appreciate in value). He has a different need in cars than I, and probably than most people.

His videos are more about the "quirks and features" as he describes, rather than an in-depth analysis of the model history, its driving dynamics, and the overall engineering. He's not a race or performance driver and doesn't have the same track experience, and only spends a short time with the car (often just a day or two) so doesn't really have a long-term perspective on it.

The videos are a great and fun overview of all the little details that you might not know unless you're an owner, but it serves better as an addon to a more thorough review elsewhere of the actual driving technology and experience. SavageGeese, Remove Before Race, Carfection are good channels to follow.

To be fair: quirks and features are way more relevant to the typical car owner than driving dynamics and track performance.

In some ways sure, but I think that depends entirely on the car, and I think driving experience is definitely still important to consider, especially for sports cars or electric vehicles.

It's more to say he doesn't spend a month living with a car so it's usually surface level details like a weird UI rather than explaining how the transmission affects the fuel and comfort in daily commutes.

Doug Demuro is a car guy. He's not an idiot and he does know what he's talking about. Of course he tries to make it entertaining, but he's not pulling anything out of his ass.

I would be more interested in Randy Pobst's opinion on handling and performance, but Doug is certainly equal to any other bog-standard auto journalist.

Not really much value. You don't have to be an expert, he's not definitely from the field and his analysis are not really much deep. That doesn't mean that he's a cool entertainer and his info is also useful.

What are your qualifications that allow you to justify a clear dismissal of someone whose job is reviewing and understanding cars?

Alex on Autos and others are better for a thorough review, but where Doug Demuro shines is his emphasis on quirks and features.

My brother works at bmw, the problem is not that they dont see electric as the future, the problem is, that they see batterys as a dead end for cars. They are a ecological disaster to manufacture, have a limited life-time and are very slowly improving and have overall just taken off, because other industries basically carried that market.

If they could make the economics of scale happen, they would rather prefer something like lohc as energy carrier.


Its storageable hydrogen, so its the natural product of decentralized renewable energy production. It has not recharge time, no battery decay. Only problem is- there is nothing but the car-industry who wants this.

That sounded interesting - until I saw in the paper that:

1 litre of LOHC => 2 kWh

Cool? Except:

1 litre of Petrol => 9.7 kWh

(according to this: https://greennav.wordpress.com/2008/03/03/how-much-energy-in...)

I don't know about the accuracy of it, but I found this:


...and it says that 33.70 kWh of electricity is the equivalent of 1 gallon of gasoline; since 1 litre is about 0.26 gallons - that's close to the other number (off somewhat though; 8.76 kWh instead of 9.7 kWh).

Regardless - it all seems to point to that either the tanks in a car would need to be 4-6 times larger - or the engines have to change in some manner to deliver the same level of performance with less energy - or something like that. Probably a combination of both.

I'm making the assumption that the LOHC would be carried on-board the vehicle, as that seems (?) like it would be safer and easier than carrying around compressed hydrogen (embrittlement issues, migration issues, consumer aversion perhaps). I don't know, though, if LOHC is more or less dangerous for consumers to handle like gasoline, or if the dehydrogenation process can be done on-board a vehicle; the paper doesn't go into such detail. It does safe it is safe to store and transport via normal methods, so it sounds like it might be ok in that regard for consumers.

Remember that the thermal efficiency of an ICE is far lower than that of an electric motor, plus electric cars can use kinetic energy recovery so get even higher efficiencies.

Thank you for the reasonable discussion contribution, a rare thing around the fourth.


Well according to this paper lohc still has a better energy density then batterys and we would loose the recharge waits. Also existing infrastructure could be reused and it allows the indefinite storage and transport of renewables, if created at source with no additinal conversion loss.

As far as i know there are several varieties in research - with one condensend form (which isnt liquid- sorry im not really a expert on this) - beeing a factor 10 energy denser.


I think this one is the paper.. I can not say how serious these technologies are driven. The trad car companies have a lot to loose when the car is reduced to 4 engines and a steering wheel.

I still think lithium ion batterys have some use- as birthing help to alternatives, who would otherwise be stuck in development hell.

That is a strange delusion on several levels. It looks lik downright psychological projection of issues with fossil fuels - and the fact limited lifetime also applies more so to fuels and hydrogen especially even.

Batteries currently have better effective energy density than hydrogen ironically given how heavy the tanks need to be to contain the metal embrittling escape artist that is hydrogen. Yet the traditional auto manufacturers bizzarely seem to have decided to make hydrogen their hill to die on.

You do not need those tanks for lohc, because the hydrogen is bound by a carrier fluid.

We can't afford anything but batteries for cars. The energy efficiency of wind->hydrogen/synth fuel->movement is just too bad. We don't have enough room for turbines to afford losing a factor 5 in energy efficiency.

Metal Alloys and Chemical Hydrides seem to be up there in 6 kWh/l zone though


Not enough room? You can build a floating solar panel, that just ships over the ocean, generating charged LOHC which then is collected by a automated ship.

PS: If you look at the references of this paper you can see the BMW research that is referenced.

This is such a blatant lie. As if the petroleum and car industry really care about the ecological impact of battery manufacture, when there are multiple solutions currently proposed-

Tesla revealed they currently recycle the packs.

Use packs can be repurposed as house batteries for grid stability.

The data shows the battery lifespan far exceeds initial forecasted length.

"Who knew EVs would be more than a niche/compliance car market?!" -- the people running BMW's i-division.

I'm sure years from now Tesla will get no credit for dragging incumbent carmakers kicking and screaming into the EV market, but they really should get the lion's share of the credit for this. Because I'm certain that without Tesla, BMW and other carmakers wouldn't even have started making "EV platforms" or EVs from scratch until 2030+.

If memory serves me correct Toyota Prius was really the first to push the Hybrid/EV concept mainstream. That isn't to say that Tesla didn't have an impact but there were EV initiatives underway well before them.

Even though this is true, I actually think I agree with the premise that Tesla was a big deal here. For all that is wrong with Tesla, they made electric cars really cool, even to car people. I think that step was an important but incredibly difficult step.

The Prius is fine. Practical vehicles. Probably still a more reasonable choice for many. But, Tesla made electric cars look like the future, even to the average person.

I must add that I am not really a Tesla zealot. I drive a Civic, Teslas seem too expensive (not necessarily over priced, just too expensive for me) and have their fair share of issues. But what they did for the perception of EVs is different than what anyone else has done imo.

The Tesla broke usual electric car strategy by making something hot not utterly lame and stodgy[1]. Which is what all electric cars were until then. The economics of that actually worked.

The Prius at least fit into Toyota's market segment.

[1] This is not totally true. There were some once off electric cars in the 1990's that were sporty. Friend dated a women that owned one. It only had a range of about 40-50 miles but it was FAST.

> The Tesla broke usual electric car strategy by making something hot not utterly lame and stodgy[1]. Which is what all electric cars were until then. The economics of that actually worked.

Tesla did a great job at making EV cool, there's no question about it.

BUT, economics of that are still TBD. They still fail to achieve any sustainable profit as a business, few years after their mass market vehicle debuted, and have to keep on raising money, on very unfavorable terms.

Tesla cracked the problem of making people buy electric cars in significant numbers. Everything else is a supply-chain and manufacturing optimization problem. Extremely challenging, obviously, and maybe Tesla won't be the winner. But those problems are fundamentally irrelevant until the you've cracked the problem of mass sales.

Making people want a product isn't enough to get economics to work.

They struggle to produce it cheaply enough, at least as of right now. Manufacturing, at scale and within costs is really really hard. Tesla's initial math for cracking the economy was based on full automation of the production, that failed spectacularly. As a result they have a lot of human labor costs they didn't plan for, so problem of optimizing it got even harder.

Did Tesla made desirable product? Yes, of course. Can they crack the economy of it? We'll see.

Tesla didn’t make people want the product. That’s meaningless. What they did that matters is that they made people pay for the product, at a price point that competes favorably with BMW’s low-end luxury cars.

You’re correct that Tesla’s future and costs are uncertain, but that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is that the production cost of a Model 3-type EV will never be as high as it was in 2018. It will never be as high as it is in 2019. Even without miraculous supply chain improvements, the cost of lithium batteries and electric drivetrains is on a relentless downward path. If Tesla can make one now at $10 in profit (obviously they make more than that), then whichever company is doing so in 5-8 years will be earning thousands in profit. And if the manufacturer is not BMW, it will be the end of that company as a viable competitor.

Tesla was able to sell electric cars for more than the marginal cost per unit in a large enough volume to be viable. Full stop. After that Tesla's profitability or not is just accounting shenanigans. How bad/good a deal was this for the investors. And is this company viable and make money. Are two separate things.

Investors can lose their shirt on a viable company. Just as they can make bank on a company that's a flash in the pan. Investors can often make money on companies that are actually failing and going to fail. There is probably an correlation between how hardball the company plays it's investors and the companies ultimate viability.

As I said above, it really doesn't matter whether Tesla survives long term. Just as it doesn't matter to the cellphone industry whether Nokia survives, or to the PC industry whether IBM, Apple and Commodore survived. Tesla built the product that proved the consumer demand existed today. BMW (and other manufucturers') strategy was predicated on the idea that large-scale consumer demand was years away. Tesla made that strategy obsolete.

I don't think BMW started an EV division to take on the prius though (I could be mistaken). The point being that Tesla is forcing the industry hand to move faster than it would on its own. That isn't to say the Prius didn't have an impact but Tesla carries significantly more weight in catalyzing progress than the Prius.

They certainly helped. The 2nd Gen Prius (which was completely redesigned and features the "shuttlepod" shape we're all familiar with today was launched at a time when oil prices were climbing rapidly, peaking in '08. No one remembers the 1st gen model, which coincidentally launched when oil was around an all-time low. But my parents and many others got the 2nd gen, and I recall even more conservative-minded people being quoted as driving the Prius for "national security' reasons. It was a ground breaking car, yes. But it had the benefit of taking advantage of a global price spike in oil.

Yeah. I remember the Chevy Volt (Electric w/ gas reserve) was decently covered/had decent popularity back in the early 2010's. I think there was another notable pure electric one as well.

No, Toyota's Prius pushed hybrids. By the time it wanted to push pure EVs, Tesla was a much more established EV brand.

Same with the electric RAV4, which I believe was the first EV in the past 20 years or so. They made it, and then barely changed anything at all to it 20 years later.

Toyota doesn't care about EVs and never did, even when it struck them in the face.

I'm just going to leave this here :


Research more about the 1997-2000 period mentioned there. Sure Tesla had a part to play in the adoption of EVs but it is more about existing at the right time and bringing on the right (for the business) ceo than about any special vision.

To some extent true, but Bmw i8 phev was available for delivery 2014. Bmw i3 in late 2013. Model S deliveries began in mid 2012.

Everything began with the Tesla Roadster showing that you could build an attractive all-electric car. That was in 2008. There is no way anyone could seriously claim that was an evolution of the hybrid lackluster NiMH Toyota Prius.

ADD: what actually begat the Roadster was AC Propulsion’s 2003 Tzero [1], a company which can be traced back to the famous EV1 (of “Who Killed The Electric Car”).

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_Propulsion_tzero

> Everything began with the Tesla Roadster showing that you could build an attractive all-electric car.


the car mfrs already knew you could build such a thing. the reason they didn’t is they had no reason to build a loss leader product.

And thus Tesla created the reason

I think the old car companies would have happily ignored Tesla for way longer, had China not started demanding that a good chunk of new cars sold have to be electric. It's fear for the Chinese market that really drives drives the incumbents to EVs.

This idea that Tesla dragged everyone else "kicking and screaming" into the electric era idea is nonsense. Nissan was shipping Leaf models in the tens of thousands a year when Tesla was still producing just a few hundred Roadsters.

No, actually you are wrong! I’ve been an ev freak for a long time. Lots of people made EVs. Are you going to say next that Tesla didn’t do anything because karma was making evs as well ten years ago? Tesla absolutely did drag everyone else kicking and screaming, besides Nissan and some others. Tesla was the first company to make a serious ev that looked like a normal car and claimed to be like a normal car, not some niche golf cart like the leaf. Tesla was the first one to encroach on ice territory in this way, and everyone hated them for it. The other car companies hated them, the New York Times hated them and wrote false stories about the model s, even top gear got in on the action and staged a battery failure on their review of the roadster. Gawker maintained a death watch on Tesla. People in general loved to hate Tesla. I remember very clearly because as a Tesla “fan boy” in 2010 I didn’t make very many friends to say the very least. To EV people who were watching all this happen a decade ago, and there weren’t many of us back then, the overwhelming consensus was that Tesla was the only one pushing things forward and they got enormous pushback from every other entity in the automotive industry as a whole besides a few people. Nissan was not pushing things forward. They made a golf cart that looked like an insect. They showed no signs of making a real sedan like Tesla. They didn’t build charging infrastructure. I’m sorry man but you are flat out wrong. Go ahead and call me fanboy, it won’t make you any less wrong.

As someone who has owned both the Leaf and the Model S I agree with this. The only value of the Leaf was it was a very inexpensive but embarrassing way to get a carpool lane sticker in the Bay Area. It could not drive at highway speed for any material distance so “commuter’s golf cart” is accurate.

But now the Model S is the best sedan on the road at any price, and I’ve driven the 2019 BMWs and others. The interiors are cluttered up with incoherent “luxury” features to try to justify the price point, but nothing works that well together except for the drivetrain itself. I don’t want a crystal shifter knob and eight different buttons to lower the rear seats and a head-up display that occasionally knows the speed limit and iPads protruding from the seat backs and a lane-keeping feature that randomly jerks the wheel. This stuff makes the retracting door handles on the Tesla seem almost practical.

I do want a car that drives great and looks great and minimizes maintenance and running costs. No ICE drivetrain can deliver the same acceleration thrill as the Tesla drivetrain, so what’s the point? The only thing left is range and hauling power, so pickup trucks, vans, and for now, SUVs.

Tesla’s lack of “incoherent luxury” is so refreshing to me too. It’s incidental but very nice.

What, Elon came to his senses and added a vented seats option back to Model S? Not that this were even a particularly high-end luxury feature now.

No number of additional premium features can compensate for an overall worse driving and ownership experience. It’s basically a new class of car. I was very skeptical but that’s the truth.

Of course, some won’t value what it can do, but the hate over minor details is not justified.

That's really depends on what you want from a car, doesn't it? For me, all personal and IMHO, of course, multi-month repairs over trivial issues, having to plan your trips around charger stations, and, yes, lack of luxuries that are by today not out of place even in in midrange cars costing less than half the price of a model S... that's not minor issues.

And of course I am too old and cynical, and want my stick shift back, but the driving experience in Model S was very much blah. That's one of those things that you can do well only if you know how to build cars, not computers on wheels.

As for ownership experience, maybe it is that bad with BMW, although I doubt it, but I've never had any problems with Audi, and it has been far more pleasant than what I've heard of Tesla...

It's incredibly short-sighted to not call the Nissan leaf a serious EV, just because you happen to not be in the target market. I understand there is some frustration and venting in your post, but there is no reason for being derogatory about products that happen to not be targeted at you, or at California. California is not the center of the world, and neither are you.

What's a niche golf cart is the US is a mainstream car in France (or Japan). There's a reason why Renault's equivalent of the Nissan Leaf, called Renault Zoe, is even smaller than the Leaf: it's tailored to the French urban market.

Interestingly the German market is probably more vulnerable to Tesla than the French one (since after all this is about BMW). Tesla is after the like of BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, etc. But not the like of Renault, Peugeot, Nissan, Honda, Volkswagen, Opel, Fiat, etc. (Though of course Volkswagen owns Audi, so it's not all that simple...).

As a New-Yorker (currently, hopefully not for too long) I stand on the side: I don't even have a valid US driver license. I mean, what could I possibly do with a car in NYC?

What a bunch of nonsense. I never said the leaf isn’t a serious ev. I said it’s a golf cart because that’s what it is. It can barely make it on the highway and has a very limited range. Some people want that. Most people want something like a Toyota Corolla (literally most people according to sales) and nobody in the ev community had tried to challenge the corolla segment until Tesla. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying that the leaf isn’t “serious.” What is even the point of your comment? Did you even read into the context and sentiment of my comment? I said nobody made a good looking, long range ev and pushed it with charging infrastructure until Tesla did it. What does that have to do with a bunch or rude Parisians driving around in clown cars? Nothing. Go back to France.

Doubling down on it being a golf cart sure sounds like you dont think it is a serious EV to me, unless you think golf carts are serious EV's.. Just saying.

Leaf is a shitty car, for car people.

But huge majority of people aren't car enthusiasts, so they don't care. They want affordable and easy way of moving from point A to point B.

Getting car people excited is great. But you need to target average joe if you want to change the world.

Leaf was a bad car for the average joe, too.

I'm sure it was perfect for some people - just like a smart car. But it would fall down for typical daily usage for lots of people who don't care about cars, but do have a highway commute, say.

I just wanted to go from my house in Berkeley to Palo Alto and back without having to stop and recharge for an hour at Whole Foods.

It was an ok car if you never, ever needed to use a highway.

The leaf was never a threat to the BMW, Mercedes and Audi lines. The Tesla, from day one, was. So yes, that threat from Tesla absolutely deranged at least the German manufactures into the electric era.

The leaf was always too compromised to be viable. The model S and model X at least competed, and the model 3 is rolling most of it's competition along traditional germans.

Teslas were the "halo product" for EVs.

No one got excited about Leafs and Priuses, but there are lots of videos about people drag racing Model S.

> No one got excited about Leafs and Priuses

This... is not true. Lots of people were excited by the Prius, specifically. In the 2000s that car was so hot that it was a mark of status for Hollywood celebrities to be seen driving them.

The Leaf, yeah, nobody ever got too excited by that. But the Prius was genuinely A Thing.

Prius was definitely a thing. And objectively not a great car, but a perfectly serviceable one for lots of people. The first "green" vehicle to do that, really.

> Lots of people were excited by the Prius,

In a hairshirt sort of way.

I found the BMW i3 "teardown" by a reverse engineering company Munro & Associates very interesting. The BMW EV i3 is described by them as "without a question of a doubt the most advanced vehicle on the planet ... as revolutionary as the Model-T when it came out". See [1]

[1] https://youtu.be/rqiBWfsDTAA

Did you see any of the latest videos where he compares i3, m3 and bolt

BMW: We see those Model-T panel gaps and can innovate by making ours twice as wide.

That's from January 2015 - much has changed since then.

I'd prefer they quit prior to gutting the M division and turning their motorsport legacy into mass market trash. Even the M2 is overweight, overpriced, and underwhelming, though its the "best" M branded car made in the past ~10 years.

BMW ultimately is in the business of selling cars, not preserving a brand legacy. All the German brands are doing the same — AMG and S aren’t what they once were. Even Porsche GT cars are more pliant and daily-able than ever.

Their new M8 "performance grand tourer" weights almost as much as a Ford F-150 Truck.... not kidding

You've said that repeatedly in the thread so I looked it up, and like everything it just depends. Dry weight for some F-150 configs is actually sightly less than an M8, but some configs (like the Raptor) weigh significantly more.

M2 Competition, while overpriced (like all BMWs), is universally beloved by owners.

How did they not see this coming though?

Nobody wants an i3 because it’s a stupid looking car with no market edge over I.e. a Tesla

And nobody can afford an i8

So they may as well threw their market lead for nothing. They failed to make a practical vehicle, like the electric 3-series sedan that probably everyone wished they made.

I am in the target market for a BMW i3.

However, I was turned off by the bizarre appearance of the car. I am pretty thick skinned, but would still be thinking that other motorists were laughing their heads off, while I was driving it.

Why do manufacturers feel obliged to make new technology cars looks like cheap and nasty toys ?

Honestly BMW lost its way long before electrics. The BMW pedigree was always about the drivability. They were never as “luxurious” as their competitors but they were so much more fun to drive. Somewhere along the way they lost that and became just another luxury car brand.

VW CEO stepped down after the emissions scandal :- https://www.evo.co.uk/volkswagen/16715/martin-winterkorn-ste...

BMW also got fined and caught up in doing the same emissions scandal :- https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/car-emission...

Yet it took this for the BMW CEO to step aside!

Stepping aside is the finest display of lack of skin in the game. Something fails, you can just leave, while not returning any of the bonuses you "earned" for your "finest" work.

Maybe and the point about bonuses is so sadly true, but then they are never negative when things fail, maybe they need to swing both ways in such positions and install a truer sense of accountability.

Perhaps another way of implementing that would be that bonuses are held in escrow for a number of years, the employee is allowed to get interest free loans against those escrow bonuses up to a point perhaps, yet those bonuses will equally be open to adjusting for bad years.

Which reminds me of the reinsurance industry and names, those who invest. Even when they leave, they are still liable for future claims for a number of years, a notice period. That's fair and works.

>BMW also got fined and caught up in doing the same emissions scandal :

That seems quite different from what VW did. VW made it so emissions were good during testing but bad during regular driving. That article says BMW (and others) colluded to make emissions bad all the time. When emissions are bad all the time, the testers are not being fooled about how the emissions actually look.

Meanwhile, the Porsche CEO recently wrote an opinion piece for USA Today where he writes "Porsche thinks you’ll want your next car to be electric"


And they've been making a lot of noise about their plan to shift their lineup to full electric (not watered down hybrids) for some time now.

The corrosive effect of misallocated inherited wealth. For context, BMW's biggest shareholders are the Quandt/Klatten family.

Through the entire supply chain, hundreds of thousands of jobs and massive impact on the wider economy, electrification, competitive effects in the energy market, and climate change, all depending on a handful of people.

People who (in this particular context) have no particular motivation for..really anything, with virtually infinite inherited wealth. Especially not to rock the boat or drive any vision forward.

That, in a nutshell, is why Germany's car industry is dying long-term. VW ownership same thing via Porsche SE.

I find this incredibly interesting, how entire economies ultimately lag and long-term may fail on the bottleneck of a few randomly selected people. Interestingly, there seems to be no good way out because disowning individuals for the collective good is a path that historically does not tend to work well for innovation either.

I find myself agreeing, but you could write the exact same comment about public companies only optimizing their business towards making the numbers look good for the quarterly report. Tesla famously does its end-of-quarter push knowing fully well that a number of those cars will be bought back from customers next quarter..

Ultimately, I think the shareholders of Tesla influence company strategy as much as Klatten et al, which is not very much at all. It's the people at the top.

If the shares of BMW were evenly spread across the German population, would it have been any better? That would be about $500 of stock per person. Do people who currently hold $500 of BMW stock put much effort into following shareholder votes and such?

When you say "disowning individuals" can I assume you're referring to something like setting very high rates for inheritance tax? Why do you think high inheritance tax 'historically does not tend to work well for innovation'?

I should clarify, I think there are a lot of good reasons for high inheritance taxes if reasonably structured. I meant disowning people who are still alive in a communist sense (do not want to start a discussion on socialism/communism though), i.e. the government literally deciding someone is not fit to own such a big piece of the means of production and taking it from them.

And chasing quarterly numbers instead of making long-term investments has been killing the US auto industry. Your argument is very one-sided.

its remarkably similar to the method through which a memory leak drags down a running operating system.

That could be said about anything really. The Chinese companies will inevitably fail because they will never venture outside of china in any meaningful way that would be sustainable for them.

The Zaibatsus will fail because of aging population and traditionalism. The Chaebols will fail because of archaic hierarchy of the korean society.

I am sorry but I am not following. What can be said about anything? That it will fail for some reason? Fine, but what does that have to do with the particular point of the ownership structures of German car makers?

Everything will fail, so why not instead of trying to keep particular instances alive as long as possible, optimize the system to be less shocked when any single piece fails?

In my mind, this means dis-incentivizing scale. Replace 10000 people dependent on one entity with 10 entities each dependent on 1000. Get rid of mergers and vertical integration and fight accumulated wealth..?

To be honest, the new generation of cars already destroys the sub-contractor culture the car companies used to squeeze manunfactoring costs down. Even the german mail company was able to build there own e-delivery truck, so there is that.

They way i understood your comment is that the german car makers will fail because of inherited wealth. I am saying all of them can fail due to cultural differences. It just happens that the american can do attitude works the best and is global or tries to be global.

>The corrosive effect of misallocated inherited wealth. For context, BMW's biggest shareholders are the Quandt/Klatten family.

I dont know where you got that opinion from. BMW is perhaps Europe's most successful & profitable car company, probably second most successful globally after Toyota.

> That, in a nutshell, is why Germany's car industry is dying long-term. VW ownership same thing via Porsche SE.

The first company that will be dying soon is Tesla.

Expected top 10 electric car makers in 2019 (in no particular order): Tesla, Nissan, Renault, Hyundai, and 6 Chinese brands that I don't know [1]. Where are the German carmakers?

The latest EU elections have seen an unprecedented rise of the Greens at the European level, so I expect regulation against greenhouse gases to go only one way: more taxes on gas, more regulations, more choking of the ICE car market. German carmakers need to get their act together or they will die of irrelevance.

[1] https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/18/top-10-best-selling-ful...

This mayu or may not portend the end of Germany's auto industry, but what exactly is the marketshare of electric vehicles globally, and would BMW or Mercedes really notice what Hyundai or Nissan are doing?

Right now? Single digits. But right now does not matter.

The marketshare of electric vehicles globally will be > 90% in the future. And not "the future" like some Star Trek utopia.

Ireland has committed to no new petrol/diesel cars from 2030 onwards. UK has committed to 2040 but is likely moving that to 2030. Other countries in the EU will follow with similar timelines.

This is in just over 10 years. If your cars all need to be electric by 2030, you need to have already put in place the strategy to do that and be already implementing your manufacturing chain. If it's 2040 you have a bit more time, but you would still want to be doing it within the next 5 years.

The market share is small, but my point is that it will converge to 100% within one to two decades, with increasing pressure to move that deadline to the left. Maybe not globally, but at least in some markets (China, India, EU).

In the transition some will win and some will lose. So far the German automakers have not looked at this drastic market shift seriously... It needs to change if they want to stay relevant.

Did anyone in the Western hemisphere make any similar commitments?

But my point is that anyone's electric marketshare in 2019 is pretty meaningless as a predictor of 2040 or even 2030 results. And the 2019 rankings very much remind me of a certain (quite bad) scifi novel I've read, where in the furure everyone drives electric cars, except for the really rich who zoom around in extremely expensive ICE vehicles.

Also, governments might want to push for electric vehicles, but it is not obvious that the public will go along with it -- so far the only way to make electric cars outsell traditional ones is a severe distortion of the pricing as in Norway.

Not completely sure why you are being downvoted.

But many countries in the EU have made similar commitments, with EOL between 2025 (Norway) and 2040 (France).

Hence why I specifically said India, China and the EU. I don’t think the Anglo Saxon world is taking this issue at heart much yet (besides UK).

If the regulator ban something automakers will adapt. And so will the population.

AFAIK the climate change issue is way less politicized in continental Europe than in the US, which makes action so much more easy. Lobby and corruption are still an issue though...

Indeed, there's too much political BS about climate change in the US (although I also haven't heard of any ICE bans in the South America either).

China is very much a separate market (aren't most well-selling German luxury brands there also made in China, and not necessarily exact same models as available elsewhere?), and US population might adapt... or we may end up with more trumps and regulations explicitly favoring ICE vehicles. People usually aren't too happy about paying more for an inferior product.

Perhaps the internal combustion engine is the last dying gasp of analog propulsion. Internal fire will be left to rockets.

there's too much talk of tesla.

BMW's main benchmark is Daimler and BMW lost the ICE race to them and also the EV lead. Tesla didn't make enough cars to be a threat in the last 4 years.

all in all a very incompetent CEO. the only one in BMW history not to have an 8 year mandate.

The EV is the new iphone and everyone is struggling to create the next android.

This is a very interesting analogy, with Musk:Jobs and Tesla:Apple

Back in the mid 00s, everyone thought the next big think looked like a smaller PC (analogy: EV cars) or a souped up phone (analogy: EV bikes/scooters). The iPhone changed the game (with Android quickly cementing that change).

What happens when it's more convenient to charge or have an EV-as-service than gas-up or get a cab/uber? The automobile industry is due for a massive shakeup and the more efficient batteries and more widespread chargers get, the more likely that the future cuts out the petroleum economy.

> The iPhone changed the game

I never understand blanket statements like these about the iPhone being a game changer; the iPhone wasn't half as capable as a windows mobile phone for quite awhile; if the makers of windows mobile phones hadn't stagnated for so long I doubt Apple would have been anymore of a blip than Palm was; moreover, I'm not sure the iPhone changed the game much at all, they really just iterated on their competitors' innovations.

To me, Apple used their inertia from their innovative iPods to have a great marketing success.

> I never understand blanket statements like these about the iPhone being a game changer; the iPhone wasn't half as capable as a windows mobile phone for quite awhile

The second part of your sentence answers the first part of your sentence.

It's shockingly obvious why the iPhone was a game changer if you're doing anything other than looking at capabilities and checking off lists of features.

> To me, Apple used their inertia from their innovative iPods to have a great marketing success.

But on the other hand you think the iPod was innovative. When the iPod was released everyone said the same thing as you're saying about the iPhone ("Less space than a nomad. Lame."). In a comparison test with other MP3 players it didn't come out on top, either.

Slick hardware and good UX is way more important than people in tech give it credit for. I used Windows Mobile before the iPhone came out and it was complete trash, regardless of how many features it technically had.

> It's shockingly obvious why the iPhone was a game changer if you're doing anything other than looking at capabilities and checking off lists of features.

It lacked MMS; it wasnt even really a phone, much less a capable smartphone. You're grossly over simplifying if you call things like that a list of features.

I used windows mobile phones for years before the iPhone. The iPhone was complete trash to me because I couldn't do the basic things I was able to do on a windows phone or even my flip phones before that.

> When the iPod was released everyone said the same thing as you're saying about the iPhone

I said precisely nothing about the iPod release. What I implied was that the iPod was viewed as innovative by the time the iPhone was released (hence my usage of the word inertia; inertia of iPod innovation counts for precisely nothing at the release of the iPod).

> Slick hardware and good UX is way more important than people in tech give it credit for.

The iPhone wasnt even in the same league as WebOs phones as far as UX; why didn't Palm make it very far? (Because UX counts for a lot less than you think) The modern Apple is a marketing titan and the fact that anyone thinks they're largely innovative is a testament to their marketing prowess.

Eh, no. Windows phone was not good. Horrible UX for the average person. Companies don't make phones for computer science graduates. The modern touch-based UI was entirely an Apple creation.

> You're grossly over simplifying if you call things like that a list of features.

What I'm saying is lists of features don't matter. It didn't even have 3G on launch, but because it made so much more sense to use is why it was successful.

> I couldn't do the basic things I was able to do on a windows phone or even my flip phones before that.

You couldn't. The average person didn't know how to use those features on windows mobile.

> inertia of iPod innovation counts for precisely nothing at the release of the iPod

What was different about the iPod in 2008 vs 2001? The wheel was touch instead of clicky? The basic interface never really changed, it's just that it started to be more widely viewed as innovative.

> The iPhone wasnt even in the same league as WebOs phones as far as UX; why didn't Palm make it very far? (Because UX counts for a lot less than you think)

I'll give you webos had a far better interface, but it was evolutionary post-iPhone. And it WAS initially successful. But did you ever use one? It was slow as shit and the hardware was jank, which is why sales lagged.

And then Apple poached some of the Palm guys to work on iOS.

> The modern Apple is a marketing titan and the fact that anyone thinks they're largely innovative is a testament to their marketing prowess.

Look at the phones pre-2008 (including Android). Look at the phones post-2008. It's delusional to think that was "marketing prowess," it was the average person looking at how the iPhone functioned and it made way more sense to them than the god-awful interfaces everyone had to deal with. Most phones didn't even have threaded SMS until iOS. No one else had a desktop-class web browser. Apple completely changed the expectations for mobile UX.

Slick capacitive multi-touch coupled with iOS: that was the game-changer.

I'd had a couple of Windows Phones, complete with their plastic cases, resistive touchscreens, and stylii. Some of the apps might have been more capable than the iPhone's at launch, but the hardware was primitive in comparison.

Most smart phone hardware keyboards > software keyboard. The iPhone caused a regression in capabilities in that regard; so I'd say the two cancelled out.

(Though I seem to remember a capacitive screen on one of my windows mobile phones; I could be wrong though)

That was HTC Touch

> I'm not sure the iPhone changed the game much at all,

The iPhone was the first phone that a) had a plan with data as a guarantee and b) had an appstore that didn't suck.

a) meant that you could browse get maps & real webpages (albeit with ATT it was 2G/EDGE) anywhere you got signal.

b) was without peer for years. The alternatives really sucked. I know, I tried all of them. Do you remember installer packages or having to DL the app on a PC to sync? Yeah, this was a game-changer.

It was as others mention, also the first widely available device with capacitive touch (Apple called it multitouch) and it was a UX coup with iOS.

It’s been more convenient to charge than pump gas since the original Roadster, but inertia is real. However Tesla single handedly created this industry and adoption have been pretty good IMO. Norway [1] is proof that the only thing holding back good EVs is price and that’s largely about the battery.

[1] incentives mades Tesla far more affordable about over 50% of ALL cars sold were Teslas (last year?)

According to Tesla's website, it takes 30 min to charge with a supercharger. That seems much less convenient than the 2 or so minutes it takes to fill a tank.

It depends on how you define convenience. Since the vast majority of my (and most others') driving is local, I charge my i3 every night from a plain old 120V wall outlet. I have a "full tank" every morning. I travel long distance very seldom, and if 30 minute charges won't fit my future desire for convenience then I grab a gas-powered rental. But I'm still quite content with how my needs are met with my electric.

You cant fill up your tank at home. Imagine if your phone could charge up fully within 3 minutes, but that you couldn't charge it at any outlet or overnight and needed to stop by special phone charging stations every couple days to charge it up. More convenient in some ways if it lasts longer and charges faster, but you have to go to special stations now and cant just wake up with full charge

One thing I can do, though, with an ICE vehicle (granted - only safely with trucks and similar) is carry a can (or more) of fuel with me, and the extra weight of that fuel is minimal in comparison.

Meaning I can travel much further or refill in an emergency as needed, if I don't have any way of getting fuel otherwise.

I can't see how this would ever be possible with a battery; you can't carry around a partial battery (well, you could - in theory - but install it?), and full-sized battery is going to be difficult to carry around (and possibly impossible to install).

This is important for certain vehicle types - namely off-road vehicles. Such vehicles tend to consume more fuel (for various reasons), and off-road you may be far from people, let alone a gas station. Plus you may want to do a longer trail (or need to for some reason - maybe a detour forces you off your original route to a longer one) while still being able to get back to civilization at the end. Being able to stop and refuel on the trail is important.

Until battery tech gets to the point where that's no longer the problem, I can't see off-road vehicles being anything but ICE. Perhaps if they could double or more the range of current batteries, that would probably do it - I say that much because off-road vehicles, due to weight, size, and such already drop current batteries to the point where you're lucky to go 75 miles on a charge off-road; though that's only known with some custom conversions - a purpose built off-road electric vehicle might be different.

Which I honestly hope happens - there are a ton of advantages to be gained off-roading by electrics; the instant all-wheel traction control alone would be a game changer - not to mention the sheer torque and torque availability.

You don't remember the US even as recently as the mid 1970's.

One of the big reasons for using the Interstates was the fact that gas was available at reliable intervals. But it could take you 10-15 minutes to get it.

It wasn't until the likes of 7-11, Sheetz, Circle K, and all the other "24-hour convenience stores" started doing gas that getting a fillup was fast and convenient.

I would love to see the boardroom cameras of competitors viewing Elon Musks explanation of their data aggregator ml setup in the whole deployed tesla fleet of 400.000 vehicles during autonomous car day.

Fins 9 months ago [flagged]

Most of them look down on actively killing their customers.

How did that full-self-driving trip across the US in 2016 go?

Please don't take HN threads further into flamewar.


More like Tesla is the new iPhone and everyone is struggling to create the next Android.

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