With the Tesla Model 3 now entering the European market, Porsche and Audi reverse-engineered Tesla’s new electric car and they are said to be surprised by its low cost.
A report from Germany’s Manager Magazin claims that Porsche and Audio engineers, who are working together on a next-generation electric platform, had to change their approach because the cost was too high compared to what Tesla is achieving. According to the report, the German automakers have been impressed by Model 3 after reverse-engineering it, and had to change their Premium Platform Electric (PPE) because Tesla’s Model 3 has gotten better than they thought.
Their PPE is expected to be ready around 2020 or 2021. According to the report, the first version was coming at about 3,000 euros too expensive, which Porsche is said to be able to absorb but Audi wasn’t. They believe that they need to lower the cost in order to be competitive with other upcoming EVs.
The battery cell cost is apparently the expensive part of the electric vehicle platform, and Tesla claims to be leading the industry on that front.
The German magazin also describes Audi's current e-tron platform as a "failure." The e-tron was the first electric Audi vehicle that came to the market too late, while its developing cost was way too high, something that has been mirrored to Audi's low sales for the e-tron vehicles.
Tesla has been criticized for not yet delivering on the base $35,000 version of the Model 3, but the fact is that Tesla is the only automaker currently mass producing a compelling long-range EV and doing it profitably. With Audi and Porsche being apparently 3,000 euros behind for a platform coming in another 2 years, Tesla seems to remain far ahead.