Rendering of BMW i5 electric crossover utility vehicle, from patent drawings [Indian Autos Blog]Enlarge Photo
Within the next two years we will see new all-electric luxury cars from Audi, BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz appear in actual showrooms.
All four of those makes have shown concepts for their pricey, 200-mile-plus electric cars, and most of them are expected to go on sale in the second half of next year as 2019 models.
But which make is likely to emerge as the electric-car winner among more established luxury makes?
The main competitor to all of those cars, of course, is Tesla, the 13-year-old Silicon Valley electric-car maker that's now delivered something like 180,000 electric cars over almost 10 years.
It took a while for the established luxury brands to decide Tesla was a threat, but the Model S convinced them of that when it struggled into production in the second half of 2012.
Looking ahead, we asked our Twitter followers which of those four legacy brands—three German, one English—they felt would do best in electric cars.
Which luxury brand will do best in electric cars?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) March 1, 2017
The clear winner, with virtually half (49 percent) of the votes, was BMW—the first among them to launch a battery-electric car into the market, the i3 small hatchback of 2014 with its optional range-extending engine.
That company is expected to launch the 2019 BMW i5 sometime next year; its second all-electric car is thought to be a compact crossover utility vehicle with optional all-wheel drive and a range of 200 miles or more.
Following BMW came Audi, with 25 percent of the votes.
We know that VW Group's luxury brand will put its Audi e-tron electric crossover into production next year, and even more that it says fully 25 percent of all the cars it sells in 2025 will have a plug.
Audi of America president Scot Keogh with Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Los Angeles auto showEnlarge Photo
It now has on sale the Audi A3 SportBack e-tron, a compact plug-in hybrid hatchback with less than 20 miles of range.
That car has delivered consistently strong sales for Audi, more than 10 percent of all A3s sold in the U.S., perhaps indicating that Audi's buyers are the right target for cars that plug in.
CHECK OUT: Audi e-Tron Quattro Concept: 2018 Electric Car Previewed At Frankfurt Motor Show (Sep 2015)
Among the other two, Mercedes-Benz garnered 20 percent of respondents' votes, and British maker Jaguar just 6 percent.
Mercedes parent Daimler was historically the slowest and least enthusiastic about electric cars, though like the other Germans, its tune has changed in the face of strict carbon-emission limits in Europe and China and Tesla's plans for expansion into volume-priced cars.