The BMW i8 and the Tesla Model S are two of the higher end options if you are looking for something that operates more environmentally friendly than pure gasoline cars. Both cars look amazing, but what are the differences between them? Which one is better? We will compare the two cars based on technical design, performance, and cost.
Both cars can plug into an electrical socket, both can be optioned to cost more than $100,000, and both cars can go really fast. However, there is an important distinction between the two cars: the BMW i8 is a hybrid car while the Tesla Model S is a pure electric car.
The i8 has both an electric as well as a gasoline propulsion system. The electric engine is at the front of the car, and the three cylinder gasoline engine is at the back of the car. The car can run on the electric motor only, or it can use both engines at the same time for more power.
The Model S is a pure electric car with no gasoline propulsion of any kind. As a result, the Model S has far fewer parts and generally requires less maintenance.
The i8’s electric engine produces 131 hp, and the gasoline engine produces 231 hp. When the i8 runs both its electric and gasoline engines at the same time, it can achieve a 0-100 km/h of around 4.5 seconds. In electric-only mode, the acceleration will be much slower. The range of the car is roughly 35 km (22 miles) when running purely on electricity.
With a mid-tier Model S, the electric motors can output over 360 hp, and achieve a range of around 385 km (240 miles). A mid-tier Model S will have a 0-100 km/h of around 5 seconds. If you purchase the most expensive Model S, the car will achieve a 0-100 km/h of around 3 seconds.
The BMW is better for long range travel because it can refuel at any gasoline station. A Tesla needs to be plugged in so they are less convenient when on the road for long distances. However, the large network of Tesla supercharger stations are expanding quickly. We expect that long range travel in North America with a Tesla will be very convenient within the next five years.
A Tesla Model S starts around $75,000, and can be optioned to over $130,000. A BMW i8 starts around $140,000, and can be optioned to over $150,000. Both cars qualify for various provincial/state/federal incentives. The Tesla and BMW websites will show you which incentives are available in your area.