BMW and Mercedes, two prominent European automakers, are intensifying their efforts to enter the electric vehicle (EV) market and compete with established players like Tesla and Chinese companies such as BYD. At the IAA Mobility motor show in Munich, they unveiled electric concept cars and new platforms dedicated to battery-powered vehicles.
Mercedes introduced the Concept CLA Class, boasting a remarkable range of 750 kilometers (466 miles) and the ability to reach a 400-kilometer range with just 15 minutes of charging. BMW showcased the “Vision Neue Klasse,” part of their new EV platform set to enter production in 2025. BMW aims to double its EV sales this year, with 15% of its global sales expected to be battery EVs by the end of 2023.
These announcements represent a significant shift for BMW and Mercedes, as they are moving away from adapting combustion engine or hybrid models and instead developing dedicated EV platforms. While these developments indicate progress, some analysts suggest they may still lag behind Tesla.
Tesla currently commands a substantial portion of the global EV market, with 20% market share in the second quarter, followed by BYD with 15%. The EV market has become increasingly competitive, partly due to a price war initiated by Tesla, which has cut prices to gain market share.
Despite the competition, Mercedes and BMW, both premium brands, prioritize value over volume as they expand their EV offerings. In contrast, Volkswagen plans to launch eleven new all-electric models by 2027, targeting various market segments, including a sub-€25,000 EV.
In this evolving landscape, technology plays a pivotal role, with Tesla setting a high standard for EVs by integrating cutting-edge hardware and software. Both BMW and Mercedes are emphasizing their technological prowess to compete with Tesla’s features like Autopilot and advanced infotainment systems.
As the global automotive industry continues its shift towards electrification and tech integration, these European automakers are determined to secure their place in the evolving market, even as they face formidable competition from Tesla and emerging Chinese players.