The German luxury establishment takes on Tesla

The Volkswagen Group will launch three luxury electric cars over the next five years, including an Audi electric SUV, a production version of the Porsche Mission E concept, and an electric version of the Volkswagen Phaeton. BMW is expected to augment its “i” line with a larger electric car of some kind. Then there’s Mercedes-Benz. The company, which formerly owned a small stake in Tesla, is planning not one, but four new electric models, according to Car magazine. This “all-out assault on Tesla” will include two sedans and two crossovers, with the first model set to arrive in 2018. That’s reportedly a year earlier than originally planned, and possibly a response to Audi and Porsche’s electric-car machinations.