Tesla Wins ‘World’s Greatest Drag Race’ – Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA)

Rethink Technology business briefs for September 21, 2017.

A Model S P100D wins the quarter mile against . . . just about everyone

Source: Motor Trend

Although I can’t recommend Tesla (TSLA) as an investment at the moment, I’m still a shameless fan of the company and its products, and happy to report good news when it’s available. Motor Trend recently held what it called the “world’s greatest drag race” on the landing strip at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. And a Tesla Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode won the race.

The Model S’s competitors included some potent and fairly exotic machines such as the Ferrari 488 GTB, Mercedes AMG GT R, Aston Martin DB 11, and McLaren 570GT. The P100D often wins such drag races, where its electric motor torque pushes it to the quarter mile finish first.

But at longer distances, the Tesla usually falls behind, since it doesn’t have the top speed of the exotics. But it was still fun to see the competition trail in the wake of the mighty P100D. And races such as this demonstrate the future of the performance sedan: electric, all-wheel drive. Whatever may befall Tesla and Musk, even its detractors have to admit that Tesla has shown us the future.

Tesla’s reported custom AI chip: that’s what Keller does

Source: wccftech

Yesterday, CNBC reported that Tesla is working with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on a custom AI chip. Jim Keller is reported to be leading a team of “more than 50 employees” for the project. Tesla reportedly has received samples of the new chips and is now testing them.

GlobalFoundries, the fabricator that does most of AMD’s work, reportedly made the parts. CNBC says that GloFo’s CEO Sanjay Jha mentioned the work being done for Tesla, although this was seemingly denied later on.

Reuters subsequently reported an email statement from the company:

Tesla has not committed to working with us on any autonomous driving technology or product.

Of course, there wouldn’t be a commitment at this point, but this statement isn’t a denial that some work has been done. Ever since Jim Keller was hired away from AMD in January 2016, rumors have swirled around him that he was designing a custom AI chip to power Tesla’s self-driving cars. Jim is a microprocessor architect. Designing chips is what he does. It’s probably not plausible to assume that Tesla hired him for any other reason.

However, designing microprocessors from scratch is a huge, billion-dollar undertaking, something that non-technical business writers may not appreciate. My take on the rumored Tesla chip is that a collaboration with AMD was always the plan. Even with Keller and his staff, many of whom came over from AMD, Tesla wouldn’t have the resources to go it alone.

So I think it’s likely that Tesla hired AMD to design a “semi-custom” chip along the lines of the console chips. This is the somewhat mysterious “third semi-custom design win” often referred to in AMD conference calls.

Keller’s staff are overseeing the design effort and providing design input. One of those who Keller brought over to Tesla, David Glasco, is listed on his LinkedIn resume as System Architecture Lead at Tesla. But he never left the Austin, Texas, area where AMD is located.

As to the composition of the chip, many have been assuming that it contains custom ARM CPU cores. I actually think this is unlikely for a number of reasons. AMD doesn’t really have the skills to design a true custom ARM core.

But the most important consideration driving this development process for Tesla is the desire to find a lower cost solution than what NVIDIA (NVDA) has to offer. Capitalizing on the development of Ryzen and Vega seems like a good way to do that.

So my take is that the chip is probably a combination of one or more Ryzen “Zeppelin” slices, combined via the Infinity Fabric with a Vega GPU and possibly a custom ASIC for hardware tensor processing. This would take advantage of AMD’s development of Infinity Fabric for EPYC and Threadripper, and make the resultant device relatively low cost to fabricate.

Trip Chowdhry begs to differ

Barron’s reports that Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities regards the CNBC report as “100% false.” In a research note, he writes:

Comprehensive view is that TSLA and NVDA have currently a 5-year contract in place, which was renewed just recently. AMD is not a Player. AMD is DoD (Dead-on-Departure) in DML (Deep Machine Learning) Workloads. Google threw AMD out of its GPU Training Cluster, as AMD had extremely poor performance on GOOGL TensorFlow framework. Later, as a courtesy to AMD, GOOGL redeployed the AMD GPU’s for only VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). So far we have attended no less than 60 DML (Deep Machine Learning) conferences…we have not seen even a single benchmark of any DML Framework running on AMD GPU’s for production workloads. Investors optimism is completely misplaced that AMD will become a significant DML player. There is only going to be one GPU player NVDA, just like there is only one CPU Player INTC ….rest all the players will be in the others category, which will be about 10% of the market.

Insofar as AMD’s disadvantage in AI on its GPUs is concerned, I don’t doubt that Chowdhry is correct. But I doubt that would stop Keller from pursuing this project. And even though there might be a contractual commitment to NVIDIA for some period of time, projects like this require a significant amount of time. Tesla may simply be looking forward to the next generation of devices post-NVIDIA.

The area where AMD is weakest compared to NVIDIA, in software support for machine learning, is precisely why this effort may be on a multi-year development track. Getting to the point of having a hardware platform is just the start. Now the real work begins to develop the software.

While I disagree with Chowdhry on the reality of the effort, that doesn’t mean I think it’s a good idea. I’ve written previously that Tesla’s autonomous vehicle effort appears to be in disarray. Now the development of a separate hardware platform and the concomitant software effort seems like grasping at straws.

Tesla hasn’t been able to make much progress on the current NVIDIA derived platform, which is half of a Drive PX 2, and I believe, inadequate to support full self-driving capability. So Tesla has decided to go off in a completely different direction. I believe that Tesla would have been better served devoting the money and resources from the AMD effort to solving the problems it has with the current system, whatever those are.

That just wasn’t going to happen once Keller landed on the scene.

Nvidia is part of the Rethink Technology Portfolio and is a recommended buy.

Disclosure: I am/we are long NVDA.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

16 coches eléctricos que se salvarán cuando Madrid cierre el centro al tráfico

La necesidad de reducir las emisiones contaminantes y de CO2 en los centros urbanos, al mismo tiempo que se intenta que el protagonista de éstos sea el ser humano y no el automóvil hace que muchas ciudades busquen la manera de limitar el uso del coche en sus centros. Madrid acaba de dar un paso en ese sentido. A partir del primer semestre de 2018 sólo los vehículos de vecinos y residentes podrán circular por el centro de la ciudad de Madrid, a excepción de los eléctricos, de carga y el transporte público.

Al igual que ocurre cuando se limita el acceso a Madrid cuando ocurre un pico de contaminación (puedes leer todos los escenarios posibles en la ciudad de Madrid aquí) los coches eléctricos e híbridos plug-in -los PHEV- vuelven a ser una excepción y podrán circular libremente. Repasamos los modelos actualmente a la venta con los que podrías circular libremente por las ciudades “cerradas al coche” e incluso aparcar gratis en Madrid en las zonas SER.

Continue reading “16 coches eléctricos que se salvarán cuando Madrid cierre el centro al tráfico”

NTSB Finds Tesla Autopilot Partly to Blame for Fatal Crash

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has concluded that the crash that killed the driver of a 2015 Tesla Model S electric sedan in Florida last year was at least partly due to the limitations of “system safeguards” on the vehicle’s Autopilot semiautonomous feature.

According to Reuters, NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said: “Tesla allowed the driver to use the system outside of the environment for which it was designed and the system gave far too much leeway to the driver to divert his attention.”

Autopilot is designed to control the steering and speed of a vehicle driving on a highway with exit and entrance ramps, well-defined medians and clear lane markings. Since it’s not intended to have full self-driving capability, the system alerts the driver repeatedly with visual and audible warnings to pay attention and keep his or her hands on the steering wheel.

But in January, both the NTSB and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration determined that Joshua Brown, the driver of the Model S, had set the vehicle’s cruise control at 74 mph (higher than the 65-mph limit), was not driving on a controlled-access highway and ignored the system’s warnings to remain alert.

So when a semitruck turned left across the path of Brown’s vehicle, the Autopilot system failed to respond because it’s not designed to detect crossing traffic, and the driver did not apply the brakes or otherwise take control. As a result, the Model S crashed into the side of the truck, killing Brown instantly.

At the time, NHTSA concluded that the vehicle had no defects and that Autopilot had performed as designed. And NTSB attributed the crash to driver error.

Now, however, NTSB says that Autopilot’s “operational design” was at least a contributing factor to the crash because, as configured at the time, it allowed drivers to keep their hands off the steering wheel and otherwise let their attention wander from the road for extended periods of time. In other words, drivers can override or ignore warnings from the system, putting them at risk for collisions.

NTSB has devised a number of recommendations for automakers developing partially autonomous vehicles. These include going beyond simple alerts to ensure driver engagement, blocking the use of a self-driving system beyond the limits of its design, and making sure these systems are only used on specific types of roads.

Tesla responded that it would evaluate the agency’s recommendations and “will also continue to be extremely clear with current and potential customers that Autopilot is not a fully self-driving technology and drivers need to remain attentive at all times.”

Tesla has continuously updated Autopilot since its introduction. For example, the latest version doesn’t just give warnings; it will shut off completely if the driver doesn’t take control of the wheel.

Although the Tesla Autopilot crash prompted continued NTSB scrutiny, the agency stressed that its recommendations apply to other automakers as well. It specifically mentioned Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, suggesting that their semiautonomous systems should also receive upgraded warnings and features that prevent drivers from using them improperly.

Fatal Tesla Autopilot crash due to ‘over-reliance on automation, lack of safeguards’

The United States’ National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) has released its final findings on the fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S operating in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

The crash occurred in Flordia in May 2016 when Joshua Brown’s Tesla Model S collided with the underside of a tractor-trailer as the truck turned onto the non-controlled access highway.

Tesla Autopilot system is a level two semi-autonomous driving mode, which is designed to automatically steer and accelerate a car while it’s on a controlled access motorway or freeway with well defined entry and exit ramps.

According to the NTSB, Tesla’s Autopilot functioned as programmed because it was not designed to recognise a truck crossing into the car’s path from an intersecting road. As such, it did not warn the driver or engage the automated emergency braking system.

The report said the “driver’s pattern of use of the Autopilot system indicated an over-reliance on the automation and a lack of understanding of the system limitations”.

The NTSB’s team concluded “while evidence revealed the Tesla driver was not attentive to the driving task, investigators could not determine from available evidence the reason for his inattention”.

It also noted “the truck driver had used marijuana before the crash, his level of impairment, if any, at the time of the crash could not be determined from the available evidence”.

Tesla did not escape blame, with the NTSB calling out the electric car maker for its ineffective methods of ensuring driver engagement.

In issuing the report, Robert L. Sumwalt III, the NTSB’s chairman, said, “System safeguards, that should have prevented the Tesla’s driver from using the car’s automation system on certain roadways, were lacking and the combined effects of human error and the lack of sufficient system safeguards resulted in a fatal collision that should not have happened”.

The electric car maker has since made changes to its Autopilot system, including reducing the interval before it begins warning the driver that their hands are off the steering wheel.

As part of its findings, the NTSB also issued a number of recommendations to various government authorities and car makers with level two self-driving features.

These NTSB called for standardised data logging formats, safeguards to ensure autonomous driving systems are used only in the manner for which they were designed, and improved monitoring of driver engagement in vehicles fitted with autonomous and semi-autonomous safety systems.

Joshua Brown’s family issued a statement through its lawyers earlier this week in anticipation of the NTSB’s report.

“We heard numerous times that the car killed our son. That is simply not the case,” the family said. “There was a small window of time when neither Joshua nor the Tesla features noticed the truck making the left-hand turn in front of the car.

“People die every day in car accidents. Change always comes with risks, and zero tolerance for deaths would totally stop innovation and improvements.”

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10 coches híbridos y eléctricos que cambiarán el mundo

De todo lo que hemos visto en el Salón del Automóvil de Frankfurt se pueden sacar algunas conclusiones. La más clara de todas es que hay un rumbo claro hacia un futuro lleno de coches respetuosos con el medio ambiente, aunque cada uno a su manera.

Desde propuestas realistas y con fundamento que llegarán en breve hasta un superdeportivo inspirado en la Fórmula 1, pasando por algunas visiones de futuro muy interesantes. De cada uno de estos 10 modelos podemos extraer una lección y dentro de unos años veremos qué parte de razón tenían cada uno de ellos en este 2017.

Continue reading “10 coches híbridos y eléctricos que cambiarán el mundo”

Tesla shares blame for fatal Autopilot crash according to NTSB report

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has completed its investigation into a fatal crash involving a semi-truck and a Tesla Model S utilizing automated driving systems. The reasons for the crash are complex, but the report highlights issues with self-driving vehicles that should be of concern.

The incident happened in May of 2016 in Florida. It gained wide media attention because the fatality in the wreck was the driver of a Tesla Model S who was using the car’s “Autopilot” semi-automated driving system. Blame for the wreck has been bandied about, thrown at both the commercial vehicle’s driver and the Tesla driver. Based on evidence from the crash, the NTSB’s report blames both drivers and the way Tesla’s Autopilot handled the situation.

Tesla Motors has taken a lot of flak for the name of its system and for its reliance on small print to explain that it is not, in fact, a fully autonomous driving system as the name might imply. To the company’s credit, though, it has revised much of its marketing and has now changed the software that controls the Autopilot system, which the NTSB report noted.

Yet blame for the crash itself is not terribly important. What’s more important is what can be learned from it. Namely some of the inherent dangers in autonomous vehicles, our perception of them, and how they’ll function in a world with mixed human and computer drivers on the road. The near-future of vehicle automation is going to determine what the public’s perception of self-driving vehicles is for some time.

In the NTSB’s report on the fatal Tesla crash, the blame was placed on the driver of the semi-truck, the Tesla driver, and the car’s automated systems. All three drivers (truck driver, car driver, and computer) made serious mistakes that ultimately lead to the accident.

The semi-truck driver did not yield proper right of way, causing the big rig to move in front of the Tesla unexpectedly. The driver of the Model S was not paying attention to the road at all, relying solely on the automated driving systems in the car. The Autopilot system was not designed for fully automated driving and had no way of “seeing” the oncoming crash due to limitations in its sensor setup. Nor was the Tesla adequately engaging the driver with warnings about his inattention to the road or the task of driving.

So the crash proceeded as follows: the truck driver failed to yield right of way and entered the Tesla’s path as it proceeded forward. The only indication of possible impairment to the truck driver was a trace of marijuana in the driver’s blood, but no other distractions were found in the investigation.

Meanwhile, the Model S driver was not paying attention to the road at all, though what exactly the driver was doing is undetermined. The driver’s cause of death was definitely crash-related, however, indicating that the driver did not suffer a medical emergency or other problem that could have led to the incident. The driver had a history, according to the Tesla’s recording software, of misusing the Autopilot system in this way.

The Tesla Model S’ Autopilot system had alerted the driver several times to his inattention, but had not taken further lengths or, the NTSB found, done enough to adequately prevent the driver from relinquishing all control to the car. Furthermore, the sensors and systems on board the Model S were not capable of registering the truck or its potential (and eventual) crossing of the car’s path and thus did not engage emergency braking or avoidance maneuvers. That latter part attests to the often misunderstood nature of today’s semi-automated driving systems.

From these facts, the NTSB listed several recommendations for semi-automated vehicles to meet. In its own investigation into the crash and with early input from the NTSB, Tesla found problems with the Autopilot driver inattention warning system, and has since taken steps to remedy them. Tesla Motors has also revised most of its current marketing materials to further emphasize that the Autopilot system is not a fully-automated driving system capable of completely autonomous vehicle operation and that drivers are still required to be engaged in driving even when Autopilot is activated.

The NTSB is recommending that manufacturers put restrictions in place to keep semi-automated vehicle control systems working within the confines of their design conditions to prevent drivers from misusing them. This would mean that a semi-automated vehicle whose automation is designed for use during commutes at highway speeds would need to not operate at speeds lower than that and would not function in driving situations where the reading of road signs or compliance with pedestrian crossings and the like are required.

Today, most semi-automated driving systems being used at the consumer level are based around adaptive cruise control designs. These are made to watch traffic on a freeway or highway, where multiple lanes are available, but cross-traffic and pedestrians do not exist. These systems commonly require the driver to have hands on the steering wheel at all times and are often now augmented by “driver awareness” indicators that measure how attentive the driver is. Most work by gauging the driver’s ability to keep the vehicle within its lane without assistance. Some also work by noting the driver’s head position, input to the steering wheel, and position in the seat.

The NTSB also called for vehicle event data to be captured in all semi-automated vehicles and made available in standard formats so investigators can more easily use them. They called for manufacturers to incorporate robust system safeguards to limit the automated control systems’ use, and they called for the development of applications to more effectively sense the driver’s level of engagement.

The NTSB also asked manufacturers to more closely report incidents involving semi-automated vehicle control systems. These recommendations were issued to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Global Automakers group, and to individual manufacturers designing and implementing autonomous vehicle technologies.

With the release of the NTSB’s summary report today, the U.S. Department of Transportation also released its own guidance on automated driving systems. These federal guidelines are given as suggestions that vehicle manufacturers are asked to voluntarily follow.

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El huracán Irma nos descubre que los Tesla tienen más capacidad en sus baterías

Irma pasará a la historia como el huracán más poderoso que ha azotado el Atlántico oriental. De momento, ya ha arrasado islas del Caribe, Cuba y ha dejado Florida como zona catastrófica. El desastre natural ha provocado una migración masiva hacia el norte: alrededor de 6,3 millones de habitantes fueron evacuados, y para favorecer la evacuación (y ante la petición de un propietario) Tesla liberó temporalmente el verdadero potencial de las baterías de los Model X 60D y los Model S 60 y 60D para ampliar su autonomía.

Este escenario presenta varias incógnitas. ¿Estarán preparados los vehículos eléctricos y las infraestructuras para afrontar migraciones masivas como esta? ¿Qué razón técnica hay para que un fabricante decida no usar la capacidad completa de una batería y limitarla? Y lo más importante, ¿qué habría ocurrido si Tesla no hubiera efectuado de forma gratuita la actualización?

Continue reading “El huracán Irma nos descubre que los Tesla tienen más capacidad en sus baterías”

Magna shows Tesla that three motors work better than two

Magna E1 technology demonstrator

Magna fitted this former Tesla Model S with its own drive system, giving it two motors for the rear wheels to enable torque vectoring.


“Don’t call it a Tesla,” says Werner Ness, Product Manager for Magna Powertrain, as we walk towards the Magna E1 technology demonstrator vehicle in the parking lot. While the car clearly started life as a Model S, its Magna and E1 badges hint at something different.

Magna ripped out the Tesla drive motors and battery, replacing them with an electric drive system aimed at improved handling. Where the Model S came with two motors, driving the front and rear wheels, the E1 gets three, one for the front wheels, and two for the rear.

With a dedicated motor for each rear wheel, the E1 employs torque vectoring, overdriving the outer wheel to help the car negotiate turns.

Magna’s test driver takes me for a short spin on the roads around the company’s facility in Graz, Austria. He floors it from a stop, and I experience the car’s incredibly quick acceleration. Is it quicker than the 2.3 seconds to 60 mph boasted by the Model S P100D? I’m not timing it, but it feels like it’s in that general ballpark.

Magna Highly Integrated eDrive System

Magna integrates a 140 kilowatt motor, gearbox and inverter into one compact unit.


Things get a much more interesting when we power around a turn, fast enough to let the wheels slide a bit. The big car remains surprisingly level due to its heavy battery pack mounted low in the chassis, but so would a standard Model S, as I experienced in a challenge against an Audi S7.

The advantage of torque vectoring showed in how easily the driver got the car around this turn at speed. I could almost see how the car aligned itself, turning most strongly than just the steering would allow, defying inertial forces that would otherwise drag it right off the road.

Magna doesn’t plan on mass-producing the E1. Rather, this car serves to show off what it calls the Highly Integrated eDrive System, which in this case uses 140 kilowatt motors integrated with single-reduction-gear transmissions and inverters. Magna’s eDrive shows off a trend of traditional automotive suppliers offering electric drive systems as components, more easily integrated into vehicles than internal combustion engines. Bosch, a Magna competitor, is offering its own electric drive system, which it says can be implemented into a rolling chassis with just 12 to 18 months development time.

Electric drive components such as these could speed the development of new electric cars.

For Magna’s E1, each motor produces 188 horsepower for a total of 564. That comes up short of the 762 horsepower from a Tesla Model S P100D, but Magna’s Ness isn’t really interested in drag strip competitions. Rather, the exercise shows the configurability of Magna’s eDrive System.

Just one motor in this system would work for a typical passenger car, producing more power than the average four-cylinder internal combustion engine. Configurations with two, three and even four motors would be possible, with the car’s computer regulating power to each motor, helping handling.

Magna will be showing the E1 and its Highly Integrated eDrive System at next week’s Frankfurt auto show.

Tesla issues software update to help owners flee Hurricane Irma by increasing battery range

Tesla has issued a surprise over the air software update to Model S/X 60(D) owners living within Florida’s Hurricane Irma evacuation zone. Model S/X 60(D) vehicles with a 75 kWh battery pack that were previously software limited to 210 miles of driving range per single charge were automatically upgraded to 249 miles, and given temporary access to the full range capacity of the battery.

The update is seen as a gesture of good will by Tesla to help its drivers flee southern Florida as the state prepares for the most powerful Atlantic storm to hit its shores in nearly a decade.

Reports of Tesla Model S 60 owners living in the path of Hurricane Irma who received a sudden increase in battery range first surfaced on Reddit. “I’m in South Florida and I own a MS60. I just checked my app and look what it says. I’ve never been higher that 215 miles. Did Tesla do this for evacuations?” asked Redditor Ludachris9000.

Similar reports soon followed across the Tesla Motors Club, with one Tesla owner confirming that the battery range upgrade was issued to all Tesla owners with an upgradeable 60 kWh battery, and living in Hurricane Irma’s evacuation zone in Florida, to 75 kWh. The update adds another 40 miles of driving range.

“I verified it was released to any 60s in the evacuation zones. I was told it will be removed on September 16.” said CMPSL.

Teslarati reached out to Tesla for confirmation after hearing wide reports of similar stories being reported by owners. A Tesla spokesperson confirms that an over-the-air software update was in fact issued to increase driving range for owners that may be impacted by Hurricane Irma.

As nearly 5.6 million people or more than one quarter of the state’s population has been asked to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma making landfall, long lines at gas stations have put more stress on fuel supply than previous storms of the past, leaving many stations empty and drivers stranded. The hoarding of gasoline has prompted Governor Rick Scott to ask evacuees to take only as much gas as needed.


Tesla issues software update to help owners flee Hurricane Irma by increasing battery range

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New video hints at upcoming EV

The BMW i5 has been ousted in an online video promoting electric mobility, ahead of a public reveal at next week’s Frankfurt motor show.

Posted by the company’s German press site and shared by Carscoops, the clip – which is in German – shows a mystery BMW i sedan towards the end, with a 2019 timestamp – hinting that the production version is due just before the turn of the decade.

How do we know this is an ‘i5‘? The vehicle shown in the video looks identical to the leaked patent images that surfaced last October (below).

Top: BMW i5 patent, Bottom: BMW i8

In terms of its design, it appears the i5 – or whatever it will be called – borrows various styling cues from its i3 and i8 stablemates. Most notably, the front end looks very much like the i8 sports car, with a low and wide face, slim grille and headlights, along with three slits in the bonnet.

The side profile is amore practical than the i8, mixing the  overall shape of the futuristic sports car with the high roofline of the smaller i3 hatchback. It appears the floating roof design that extends the rear windows to the tailgate, common to both the i3 and i8, is also set to feature going by the patent renderings.

Top: BMW i5 patent, Bottom: BMW i3

Meanwhile, the tailgate looks to be a lift-back style design, borrowing from the 3 Series GT and 6 Series GT.

This week BMW announced it would reveal a concept previewing an all-electric four-door vehicle to sit between the i3 and i8. BMW says it plans to have 25 electrified models by 2025, including 12 all-electric offerings.

We already know two of those EVs will be the electric versions of the Mini hatch, due in 2019, and the new-generation BMW X3 – due in 2020. The company says from now on, all full-electric BMW’s will fall under the ‘i’ banner, including the X3 EV. A fully-autonomous electric vehicle, dubbed BMW iNEXT, is also due in 2021.

Above: BMW CEO Harald Krüger with the i5 concept and i3s

The claimed range for the i5 concept has not been detailed yet by the Bavarian manufacturer, though reports have claimed the new EV will be capable of driving between 311 and 435 miles (500-700km) on a single charge – equivalent to most mainstream combustion vehicles.

Should this prove to be true, and achievable with the production version, BMW should have a viable rival to the likes of the Tesla Model S – which currently claims a range between 480 and 632 kilometres depending on variant.

MORE: BMW i5 patent renderings leaked

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