UBS says Audi’s disappointing electric car launch is a big win for Tesla 

Audi’s launch of its e-tron car revealed how far behind the competition is compared to Tesla, according to UBS.

On Monday, Audi unveiled the e-tron SUV which will hit the market next spring. UBS, one of Tesla’s biggest skeptics, admitted the widely-anticipated European competitor’s car fell short in terms of performance.

The Audi “e-tron underscores that catching up with Tesla is more difficult than expected by many,” analyst Patrick Hummel said in a note to clients entitled “Audi e-tron launch – another lap Tesla wins” Tuesday. “While we appreciate that a solid EV product is not only about acceleration and range, there is still a gap to Tesla in the powertrain efficiency ratios that reflect the degree of innovation. The electric powertrain is not a commodity yet and Tesla might be able to sustain its lead for longer.”

Tesla shares are down 4.3 percent Tuesday. Its stock is down 5 percent this year through Monday versus the S&P 500’s 8 percent return.

Hummel noted the e-tron will get 30 miles to 50 miles less range than the Tesla Model X and will accelerate “significantly slower.” He said the Audi electric vehicle’s disappointing metrics will hurt its sales and benefit Tesla.