Tesla is running circles around rivals like Audi and Jaguar, and battery range is only one of the biggest reasons why

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderThe Audi e-tron.
  • The first long-range electric vehicles from Audi and Jaguar are struggling to compete with rival offerings from Tesla, suggesting that the mere presence of competition from established automakers will not be enough to threaten the electric-car maker’s sales.
  • Estimated US sales for Jaguar’s I-Pace SUV and Audi’s e-tron SUV this year have been well below those for Tesla’s Model X SUV, Model S sedan, and Model 3 sedan.
  • Tesla’s vehicles also top the I-Pace and e-tron in range and available charging stations, due to Tesla’s proprietary Supercharger network.
  • “We anticipate [e-tron] sales will build momentum as it is recognised for its outstanding quality and premium experience,” an Audi representative said. “Just last week, it was announced that the e-tron had earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest designation, a 2019 Top Safety Pick+ rating, making it the first fully electric vehicle to do so.”
  • Jaguar did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The first long-range electric vehicles from Audi and Jaguar are struggling to compete with rival offerings from Tesla, suggesting that the mere presence of competition from established automakers will not be enough to threaten the electric car-maker’s sales.

This year, Jaguar’s I-Pace SUV and Audi’s e-tron SUV have sold an average of around 217 and 628 units per month in the US, respectively, according to estimates from the website InsideEVs. That’s well below the site’s estimate for Tesla’s Model X SUV, which was released in 2015. (The I-Pace was released in 2018, while the e-tron was released this year.) According to InsideEVs, Tesla has sold an average of around 1,461 Model X SUVs per month in the US this year. Tesla’s Model S and Model 3 sedans have also outsold the I-Pace and e-tron, with average monthly US sales of around 1,171 and 11,585, respectively.


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Perhaps the most striking difference between Tesla’s vehicles and those of its luxury rivals are their ranges. The Model X has a range of between 305 and 325 miles, depending on the trim, while the Model S has a range of between 345 and 370 miles, and the Model 3 between 240 and 310 miles. The I-Pace has a range of 234 miles, while the e-tron has a range of 204 miles.

Tesla’s advantage in range is compounded by its proprietary Supercharger charging network, which only serves the Tesla vehicles. There are over 1,600 Supercharger stations in North America. Volkswagen, which owns the Audi brand, has invested in the charging company Electrify America, which plans to have over 480 charging stations operating in the US by the end of this year.

“We anticipate [e-tron] sales will build momentum as it is recognised for its outstanding quality and premium experience,” an Audi representative said. “Just last week, it was announced that the e-tron had earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest designation, a 2019 Top Safety Pick+ rating, making it the first fully electric vehicle to do so.”

Jaguar did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

While Tesla doesn’t use traditional advertising, the company’s celebrity CEO, Elon Musk, generates more attention than the vast majority of businesses and their top executives. Musk has more followers on Twitter, 27.9 million, than Audi has on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram combined (around 26 million). And Musk’s follower count on Twitter nearly matches Jaguar’s across the three platforms (around 29 million).

Musk has been able to translate his fame and social media prominence into a significant amount of media coverage. From July 18 to August 18, Business Insider published over 50 stories about Musk or Tesla, compared to six stories about Audi and Jaguar combined.

The I-Pace and e-tron are not the first electric vehicles branded as “Tesla killers” that have failed to approach Tesla’s sales. General Motors released its first mass-market, fully-electric vehicle, the Bolt EV, in 2016, seven months before Tesla released the Model 3, which was billed as the company’s first mass-market offering. General Motors has sold a total of around 51,161 Bolt EVs in the US, compared to total US sales of around 222,646 for the Model 3, according to InsideEVs.

Are you a current or former Tesla employee? Do you have an opinion about what it’s like to work there? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

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