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Yesterday I drove 2017 540ix M Sport to the dealership. Having driven the Tesla Model 3 for 3 weeks, I was able to better compare the drive qualities and my impressions. At low speed, 30 mph or so, the BMW was much better at smoothing out minor road imperfections than the Tesla. It just drove better. On the highway it drove better as well. It felt more planted and controlled without being harsh. The interior of the BMW is quite beautiful on the 540ix. The interior of the Tesla Model 3 is bland and uninspired.

For the last weeks the charge port door would not open by pressing a button on the touch screen. This was rather annoying and I am having it fixed as a warranty claim. I searched online about the problem. It surprised me to learn that this is a 7-year-old Tesla problem going to the first iteration of the Tesla Model S.

The Tesla Model 3 gets kudos for being an innovative fundamental change from ICE vehicles to electrified vehicles. Its battery-electric technology is dramatically better than what BMW has at present. The Tesla vehicles are a great solution to unhealthy levels of air pollution in metropolitan areas. They are better for the planet than average internal combustion engine cars. The Tesla Model 3 offers major economic advantages compared to its peer, the BMW 540 iX. The BMW 5er handles and drives better. The design and engineering of a BMW at any price point is much better than Tesla. Tesla has much improved the manufacturing and build quality of the Tesla Model 3. However it is still not in same league as BMW. An example is the rear quarter panel on the driver's side. It is out of alignment with the rear trunk lid. I visited a large Tesla dealership with a large inventory of Model 3's. Virtually all of them have the exact same issue to the exact same degree. BMW would never have tolerated such extreme sloppiness and relicated it on tens of thousands of cars. My wife who is not a car enthusiast and is a pragmatic person commented after we had Tesla for 3 weeks that Tesla is a better value but it is not of the same quality as a BMW. That sums up how I feel after driving both the Tesla Model 3 AWD Long Range Dual Motor and the BMW 540ix for 3 weeks. At this point in time The Tesla Model 3 is a better value, but it is not same quality as a BMW. Had I been in a position to wait for the BMW i4 I would have waited. But that was not a realistic option.
Thanks for your feedback. You have been providing great feedback on your Model 3 compared to your 540xi.

I rented a Model 3 LR for the last 3 days and agree with your comments above. I really did enjoy driving it and the simplistic interior approach Tesla uses. However, BMW is in another league with their interior, plus there entertainment center is much better than Tesla’s. I can’t figure out how a $56k car can have no HUD, no AM radio, no CarPlay/Android Auto, No Waze and no SiriusXM, plus the entertainment interface is not user friendly and distracts from driving.

Still undecided if I will get the Model 3 or another BMW 540xi LCI. The Tesla was definitely cool. Would love a Model S, but way too pricey to lease. :)
 

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Where a Battery Electric Vehicle excels is that across its full life, including manufacturing, use, and disposal, in the US it produces approximately 18 percent less contribution to global warming. As electricity production continues to become greener, that percentage will improve further.
 

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Diesel also contributes less to global climate change with the same problems as current EV gas/coal electric generation in methane production. In the future this will change and EV likely will be better.
 

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One main drawback of diesel cars is that they can emit higher levels of other harmful air pollutants like particulates and nitrogen oxides. That is why they are being banned in major European cities. In terms of environmental appropriateness the ranking at this time is Battery Electric Vehicles, Plug-in Electric Vehicles, Gasoline Vehicles, Diesel Vehicles. The extremely small articulate matter is especially harmful to human lungs. Widespread cheating and shading by diesel engine manufacturers has not yielded predicted air quality improvements in European as testing alone predicted.


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One main drawback of diesel cars is that they can emit higher levels of other harmful air pollutants like particulates and nitrogen oxides. That is why they are being banned in major European cities. In terms of environmental appropriateness the ranking at this time is Battery Electric Vehicles, Plug-in Electric Vehicles, Gasoline Vehicles, Diesel Vehicles. The extremely small articulate matter is especially harmful to human lungs. Widespread cheating and shading by diesel engine manufacturers has not yielded predicted air quality improvements in European as testing alone predicted.


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Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Gasoline vehicles, including hybrids, actually emit higher levels of small particulates than modern diesels equipped with diesel particulate filters and urea injection.

My question is how much better than gasoline cars does diesel tech need to be regarding emissions before the public (read: journalists, government) notices and cares? From my standpoint, CARB/EPA are extremely biased against diesel, and health studies do not account for location or real ambient pollution from any vehicle, just direct inside-the-tailpipe measurements.

There are many threads and studies that dispute the myth that any diesel is bad and any EV is good. They all have their limitations and are not "zero emissions." That tire/asphalt/brake dust particulate emissions are an order of magnitude higher than real tailpipe emissions is also interesting to those subjected to EV enthusiast virtue signaling. But be ready for finding out some countries impose particulate filters on gasoline vehicles.

Finally, while NOx from diesels has been controlled to levels found in gasoline vehicles, diesel emission of CO, hydrocarbon, and CO2 is still much lower.
 

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Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Gasoline vehicles, including hybrids, actually emit higher levels of small particulates than modern diesels equipped with diesel particulate filters and urea injection.

My question is how much better than gasoline cars does diesel tech need to be regarding emissions before the public (read: journalists, government) notices and cares? From my standpoint, CARB/EPA are extremely biased against diesel, and health studies do not account for location or real ambient pollution from any vehicle, just direct inside-the-tailpipe measurements.

There are many threads and studies that dispute the myth that any diesel is bad and any EV is good. They all have their limitations and are not "zero emissions." That tire/asphalt/brake dust particulate emissions are an order of magnitude higher than real tailpipe emissions is also interesting to those subjected to EV enthusiast virtue signaling. But be ready for finding out some countries impose particulate filters on gasoline vehicles.

Finally, while NOx from diesels has been controlled to levels found in gasoline vehicles, diesel emission of CO, hydrocarbon, and CO2 is still much lower.
My understanding was that diesel emissions were understood to be lower until the emissions scandal revealed that diesel wasn't delivering these reductions in real world conditions and OEMs were hiding that reality. Were it not for this I'd imagine diesel would still be sold in the US and not seeing the stiff penalties it is encountering in Europe.

Although no car has a net zero impact on the environment EVs are a very promising path forward. The other emissions you cited as being higher, such as tire and asphalt dust, would be the relatively the same irrespective of fuel type. Though, I would concede that EVs are more likely to opt for Run Flat tires which are more likely to result in a new tire than a traditional tire which may be repaired more often. Brake dust, and the wear it signals, will be a lot lower on a EV (both BEV and PHEV) as they'll use regenerative braking to significantly reduce the use of friction brakes. Traditional gas cars only have the option of friction brakes (though mild-hybrids will help on this front somewhat).

As Pharding mentioned, the grid will be getting greener over time so EVs will reduce their carbon footprint as this occurs. But the real environmental issue with regard to EVs that is worth discussion is batteries. Currently, we don't have any real way to dispose of batteries. So every EV has a "fuel tank" that needs to be dealt with at some point.

Currently, manufacturers of EVs like BMW are committed to making sure their EVs have no additional environmental impact above their gas counterparts so they are finding alternative uses for these batteries. For instance, storing solar power for their factories. Tesla is also making strides to ensure their used batteries are use by electrical utilities.

Eventually we'll need a full solution for batteries as if EVs eventually are selling at the level of gas cars we'll have a lot of batteries to find alternative uses for. Additionally, once they are worn out from those alternative uses we will eventually need to find a way to dispose of them without negative environmental impact. Thankfully, there is significant work being made in these areas. Both to find alternative uses, as I mentioned, as well as manufacturing batteries that are disposable without negative environmental impact.
 

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My understanding was that diesel emissions were understood to be lower until the emissions scandal revealed that diesel wasn't delivering these reductions in real world conditions and OEMs were hiding that reality. Were it not for this I'd imagine diesel would still be sold in the US and not seeing the stiff penalties it is encountering in Europe.
This would make sense to a casual observer but from living with diesels the last 23 years it was more pure corruption in trying to bypass regulations, which were deemed unreasonable, by cheating on emissions. There have been studies that show gasoline cars are less likely to be outside of compliance limits, but they do have examples of even gasoline hybrids not being in spec: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2016/01/car-emissions-is-nobody-clean-430938/

Although no car has a net zero impact on the environment EVs are a very promising path forward. The other emissions you cited as being higher, such as tire and asphalt dust, would be the relatively the same irrespective of fuel type. Though, I would concede that EVs are more likely to opt for Run Flat tires which are more likely to result in a new tire than a traditional tire which may be repaired more often. Brake dust, and the wear it signals, will be a lot lower on a EV (both BEV and PHEV) as they'll use regenerative braking to significantly reduce the use of friction brakes. Traditional gas cars only have the option of friction brakes (though mild-hybrids will help on this front somewhat).
I really like the added extra braking force regenerative braking gives cars like the 530e also.

As Pharding mentioned, the grid will be getting greener over time so EVs will reduce their carbon footprint as this occurs. But the real environmental issue with regard to EVs that is worth discussion is batteries. Currently, we don't have any real way to dispose of batteries. So every EV has a "fuel tank" that needs to be dealt with at some point.
Hopefully this will be solved shortly.

Currently, manufacturers of EVs like BMW are committed to making sure their EVs have no additional environmental impact above their gas counterparts so they are finding alternative uses for these batteries. For instance, storing solar power for their factories. Tesla is also making strides to ensure their used batteries are use by electrical utilities.
A good idea that hasn't found enough development to scale - yet.

Eventually we'll need a full solution for batteries as if EVs eventually are selling at the level of gas cars we'll have a lot of batteries to find alternative uses for. Additionally, once they are worn out from those alternative uses we will eventually need to find a way to dispose of them without negative environmental impact. Thankfully, there is significant work being made in these areas. Both to find alternative uses, as I mentioned, as well as manufacturing batteries that are disposable without negative environmental impact.
Its all well and good but the proof will be in the pudding. My point is that current modern diesels are not much different environmentally than EV's or hybrids. There are ways to make ICE carbon neutral also with bio and plant-based fuel etc. dealt with in other threads though.
 

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Can we get back to just discussing the Tesla compared to the BMW? Really was interesting when it was about that and not diesel and battery cars. I am big a diesel guy, but also really intrigued about the Tesla and has nothing to without green. :)
 

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Sure. For what question would you like us to weigh in on?

According to my BMW dealer the i4 is projected to arrive in Quarter One of 2021. That may spark discussion.


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They haven't even managed to squeeze out any of the dreadful iX3's yet. I'll eat my hat if the i4 materialises Q1
 

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Where a Battery Electric Vehicle excels is that across its full life, including manufacturing, use, and disposal, in the US it produces approximately 18 percent less contribution to global warming. As electricity production continues to become greener, that percentage will improve further.
Does that 18% assume that power comes off the grid? If so, what happens when the power comes from solar panels?
 

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It is too early to be a pre-emptive strike against the i4. Tesla lowered its prices in response to current market conditions.

I4 uses the 3 Series Platform. It is the electric variant of the 4 Series Gran Coupe. The interior cabin will be similar in size to the the current 3 er which came out in 2019. The i4 will be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3 which is doing incredibly well in Europe. Tesla is currently building a huge factory just outside of Berlin. Hopefully in serving the European directly Tesla will develop better body paint colors, and more elegant cabin design and finishes.

The other BMW Battery Electric Vehicle coming out next year is the iNext which looks at first glance to be a X5 size BEV SUV with more advanced autonomous driving features.

Right now in my opinion the Tesla Model 3 is peerless as an BEV at a great price point, compared to current offerings other manufacturers across the world. Range is incredibly important on a BEV. Current offerings by other European Auto manufacturers are not competitive with Tesla on range and price. Hopefully that will change with the BMW i4.
 

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Does that 18% assume that power comes off the grid? If so, what happens when the power comes from solar panels?
That is an average off the grid. If higher percentage of fuel for the car comes from solar panels then the percentage gets even better.

I am an architect. This fall I am building a new garage with fitness studio for my 1901 Frank Lloyd Wright House. The back side of the garage roof will be clad in Tesla solar tiles. The goal is to power my Tesla Model 3 strictly by stored solar power.
 

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.. my 1901 Frank Lloyd Wright House ...

Wow, I’m jealous! There was a Frank Lloyd Wright house where I went to school; I used to walk up that way just to gaze at it ... somehow gave me a great feeling of contentment (harmony?, order?). Any chance for some pics? ... I need a bit more of that these days. Thanks.
 

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www.harding.com \ projects \ E. Arthur Davenport House


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