BMW i Vision Dynamics concept, 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show [photo: Tom Moloughney]Enlarge Photo
Yes, yes, yes, we know: our readers and Twitter followers are largely very strong supporters of, and believers in, Tesla and its electric cars.
Our challenge for last week's Twitter poll was that we get very, very few characters to post questions and a choice of four responses.
So in asking which of four makers would sell most electric luxury cars by 2020, we simply didn't have room to put something along the lines of "besides Tesla."
We responded to the immediate protests and condemnations in the poll's comments on Twitter by explaining that, but clearly many Twitter followers don't read all the comments.
In any case, to be clear, we offered up four luxury automakers—three German, one British—and asked followers which one they thought would have the highest electric luxury car sales a bit more than three years hence.
The four makers were Audi, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz.
Which maker will sell most electric luxury cars by 2020?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) September 25, 2017
The results were conclusive: almost half (47 percent) of respondents chose BMW.
Following the Bavarian maker of "ultimate performance machines," Audi and Mercedes-Benz fell into a second tier.
Surprisingly, Mercedes-Benz got a quarter (24 percent) of respondents' votes while Audi earned only 19 percent.
It's startling because the Audi e-tron battery-electric crossover utility vehicle is expected to hit the market in late 2018, a full year before the Mercedes-Benz EQC electric crossover.
Bringing up the rear is dark horse Jaguar at 10 percent. The passenger-car brand of Jaguar Land Rover will launch its own electric utility vehicle, dubbed the I-Pace, on the same schedule as Audi and ahead of Mercedes.
That means that both Audi and Jaguar will have two years of sales—2019 and 2020—against just one for Mercedes.
Jaguar I-Pace concept, 2016 Los Angeles auto showEnlarge Photo
Still, BMW is an eminently logical choice among the four. It launched its first electric car, the BMW i3 with a tiny optional range-extending engine, in the fall of 2013, and it went on sale in the U.S. the following spring.
The brand is targeting sales of 100,000 battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles globally during 2017, and its 200,000th plug-in vehicle will be delivered sometime this year.
That puts the brand ahead of General Motors in total production of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, though behind both Tesla and Nissan.
We'd suggest that those numbers make it the logical choice among our four. Now you may return to discussing Tesla.
As always, the results of our Twitter poll aren't statistically valid—for a variety of reasons having to do with who saw the survey and who chose to respond—and should be viewed as discussion fodder, not a representative scientific survey.