BMW i4 Vs Tesla Model 3: Can It Beat Tesla? Price, Range Compared

The BMW i4 is coming to the U.S. in Q1 2022 in two versions (eDrive40 and sporty M50) with an EPA range of up to 301 miles (484 km).

Today, we will take a look at how this new model stands compared to some of the other cars, but mostly the Tesla Model 3 (not the most direct counterpart, but the closest that we can find).

BMW i4 M50 vs BMW i4 eDrive40

First, let’s see the differences between the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive M50 and the rear-wheel-drive eDrive40.

The i4 is equipped with an 83.9 kWh battery out of which 81.5 kWh is usable. In the case of the entry-level i4 eDrive40 18″, it’s enough for 301 miles (484 km) of EPA range.

The base M50 has 10% less range (270 miles), but it comes standard with 19″ wheels – the eDrive40 18″ with 19″ wheels also has less range: 282 miles (454 km). It’s worth noting that the M50 with 20″ wheels gets just 227 miles (365 km) of EPA range.

With an additional front motor, the M50 is a much quicker car and has a higher top speed. Charging performances are basically the same.

The M50 is about a fifth more expensive than the base i4.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2022 BMW i4 M50 19″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 18″
[B]
DriveAWD RWD
Battery83.9 kWh0%83.9 kWh
EPA Range
Combined270 mi*
(434 km)
-10.3%301 mi*
(484 km)
Specs
0-60 mph3.7 s-32.7%5.5 s
Top speed130 mph
(209 km/h)
10.2%118 mph
(190 km/h)
Peak power400 kW60%250 kW
Charging
ACOn-board charger: 11 kW
Info: 0-100% SOC in 8 h and 15 min
 On-board charger: 11 kW
Info: 0-100% SOC in 8 h and 15 min
DCPeak charging power: 200 kW
Info: 10-80% SOC in 31 min
 Peak charging power: 200 kW
Info: 10-80% SOC in 31 min
Prices
MSRP$65,90019%$55,400
Dest. Charge+$995 +$995
Tax Credit$7,500 $7,500
Effective Price$59,39521.5%$48,895

BMW i4 M50 vs Tesla Model 3 Performance

And now, let’s take a look at the BMW i4 M50 compared to the Tesla Model 3 Performance. There are a lot of similarities between the two.

The battery pack capacity is slightly higher in the i4, but its EPA range – even the 19″ wheel version – is lower. With 20″ wheels, it would be a bad comparison (227 miles vs 315 miles).

Tesla offers also quicker acceleration and a higher top speed, which means that on paper it wins in all categories so far. However, the BMW might deliver a much better driving experience and a nicer interior, and higher quality. Those are the things that are yet to be reviewed.

In terms of charging, the onboard charger’s power is similar (most likely 11.5 kW in the case of Tesla). Fast charging results have yet to be compared, but Tesla has its advantage in terms of access to the Supercharging network.

Interesting is the price comparison because as it turns out, due to the lack of eligibility to the federal tax credit for Tesla, the effective price of the two is pretty much the same.

We can assume that the M50 will be selected by customers who prefer a refined driving experience, over other things like higher range, better straight-line acceleration or Tesla’s technological features.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2022 BMW i4 M50 19″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2022 Tesla Model 3 Perf. LR AWD 20″
[B]
DriveAWD AWD
Battery83.9 kWh4.9%80 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined270 mi*
(434 km)
-14.3%315 mi
(507 km)
City  328.7 mi
(529 km)
Highway  299 mi
(481 km)
Specs
0-60 mph3.7 s19.4%3.1 s
Top speed130 mph
(209 km/h)
-19.8%162 mph
(261 km/h)
Peak power400 kW  
EPA Energy Consumption (including charging losses)
Combined  113 MPGe: 298 Wh/mi (185 Wh/km)
City  118 MPGe: 286 Wh/mi (177 Wh/km)
Highway  107 MPGe: 315 Wh/mi (196 Wh/km)
Charging
ACOn-board charger: 11 kW
Info: 0-100% SOC in 8 h and 15 min
  
DCPeak charging power: 200 kW
Info: 10-80% SOC in 31 min
 Peak charging power: 250 kW
Prices
MSRP$65,90011.7%$58,990
Dest. Charge+$995 +$1,200
Tax Credit$7,500 N/A
Effective Price$59,395-1.3%$60,190

BMW i4 M50 vs Polestar 2

Compared to the Polestar 2, the BMW i4 M50 basically offers more of everything (battery capacity, EPA range, acceleration and top speed), but there is also a significant price difference between the two.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2022 BMW i4 M50 19″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2022 Polestar 2 Dual Motor 19″
[B]
DriveAWD AWD
Battery83.9 kWh7.6%78 kWh
EPA Range
Combined270 mi*
(434 km)
8.4%249 mi
(401 km)
Specs
0-60 mph3.7 s-17.8%4.5 s
Top speed130 mph
(209 km/h)
2.4%127 mph
(204 km/h)
Peak power400 kW33.3%300 kW
EPA Energy Consumption (including charging losses)
Combined  89 MPGe: 379 Wh/mi (235 Wh/km)
City  94 MPGe: 359 Wh/mi (223 Wh/km)
Highway  84 MPGe: 401 Wh/mi (249 Wh/km)
Charging
ACOn-board charger: 11 kW
Info: 0-100% SOC in 8 h and 15 min
 
Info: 0-100% SOC in 7 h
DCPeak charging power: 200 kW
Info: 10-80% SOC in 31 min
  
Prices
MSRP$65,90032.1%$49,900
Dest. Charge+$995 +$1,300
Tax Credit$7,500 $7,500
Effective Price$59,39535.9%$43,700

Bonus

BMW i4 eDrive40 vs Tesla Model 3 RWD

If we compare the entry-level versions of the BMW i4 and the Tesla Model 3, we would notice that the effective price of both is similar (small advantage to the Model 3).

The Tesla Model 3 RWD has a much smaller battery. However, thanks to much better efficiency, its EPA range is only slightly lower. The acceleration is similar – the i4 is a bit quicker but has a lower top speed.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 18″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2022 Tesla Model 3 RWD 18″
[B]
DriveRWD RWD
Battery83.9 kWh39.8%60 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined301 mi*
(484 km)
10.7%272 mi
(438 km)
City  284 mi
(457 km)
Highway  260.6 mi
(419 km)
Specs
0-60 mph5.5 s-5.2%5.8 s
Top speed118 mph
(190 km/h)
-15.7%140 mph
(225 km/h)
Peak power250 kW  
EPA Energy Consumption (including charging losses)
Combined  132 MPGe: 255 Wh/mi (159 Wh/km)
City  138 MPGe: 244 Wh/mi (152 Wh/km)
Highway  126 MPGe: 267 Wh/mi (166 Wh/km)
Charging
ACOn-board charger: 11 kW
Info: 0-100% SOC in 8 h and 15 min
  
DCPeak charging power: 200 kW
Info: 10-80% SOC in 31 min
 Peak charging power: 250 kW
Prices
MSRP$55,40023.1%$44,990
Dest. Charge+$995 +$1,200
Tax Credit$7,500 N/A
Effective Price$48,8955.9%$46,190

Well, it seems that with the uneven incentives, the BMW i4 has similar effective prices to corresponding Tesla models. The specs are not bad either. The question is what will happen once BMW runs out of its federal tax credits too, and/or a new incentives include Tesla again (and GM)?

Summary

Prices

ModelBase PriceDest. ChargeTax CreditEffective Price
2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 18″$55,400+$995$7,500$48,895
2022 BMW i4 M50 19″$65,900+$995$7,500$59,395
2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 19″$45,900+$1,300$7,500$39,700
2022 Polestar 2 Dual Motor 19″$49,900+$1,300$7,500$43,700
2022 Tesla Model 3 RWD 18″$44,990+$1,200N/A$46,190
2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD 18″$50,990+$1,200N/A$52,190
2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD 19″$52,490+$1,200N/A$53,690
2022 Tesla Model 3 Perf. LR AWD 20″$58,990+$1,200N/A$60,190

Basic specs

ModelDriveBattery
(kWh)
EPA
Range
0-60
mph
(sec)
Top
Speed
2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 18″RWD83.9301 mi*
(484 km)
5.5118 mph
(190 km/h)
2022 BMW i4 M50 19″AWD83.9270 mi*
(434 km)
3.7130 mph
(209 km/h)
2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 19″FWD78270 mi
(434 km)
7.0100 mph
(161 km/h)
2022 Polestar 2 Dual Motor 19″AWD78249 mi
(401 km)
4.5127 mph
(204 km/h)
2022 Tesla Model 3 RWD 18″RWD60*272 mi
(438 km)
5.8140 mph
(225 km/h)
2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD 18″AWD80*358 mi
(576 km)
4.2145 mph
(233 km/h)
2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD 19″AWD80*334 mi*
(537 km)
4.2145 mph
(233 km/h)
2022 Tesla Model 3 Perf. LR AWD 20″AWD80*315 mi
(507 km)
3.1162 mph
(261 km/h)

* estimated/unofficial values

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