On the lighter side of the news today, it looks like Elon Musk doesn't feel too threatened by BMW's new i3 electric car. On the conference call to discuss Tesla's Q2 financial results, an analyst's question about the i3 turned into a giggle fest. Hear for yourself:
I think people will probably read too much into it (note that it was the analyst who laughed first, and laughter is contagious). I think Musk is sincere when he says that it's a good thing and that he hopes BMW keeps improving. After all, his stated goal with Tesla is to catalyze the industry, so he wants other companies to also make good EVs (there are easier ways to make money than to start a new car company and try to convince people to buy electric cars...). That's why he also partners with companies like Toyota and Daimler.
I think BMW's main problem with the i3 is that they caught a case of 'conceptcaritis'. If they had made an EV, built from the ground up to be electric, but that looked a bit more like a BMW 1 series or 3 series, or even like it does now but with fewer funky touches, I think it would feel more mainstream and less like a concept car. After all, the Tesla Model S, despite all its innovations, wouldn't look out of place parked next to most other cars in its price range.