UBS, a Swiss investment bank and financial firm, has long been skeptical about Tesla and its electric car plans. But, after Audi revealed its E-Tron electric crossover SUV, the firm said Tesla is further ahead than once thought.

In notes to clients, obtained by CNBC and published in a Monday report, analyst Patrick Hummel said the “E-Tron underscores that catching up with Tesla is more difficult than expected by many.”

His statement added, “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.”

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Even with a 95-kilowatt-hour battery pack, theE-Tron is expected to return 30 to 50 miles fewer compared to the Tesla Model X’s electric driving range. Official estimates for the AudiE-Tron should fall around 250 miles. The Model X boasts up to 295 miles of range with the 100D model. The Model X 75D still comes close with a 237 range estimate.

In his harshest statement, Hummel said the E-Tron’s disappointing specs will “hurt its sales and benefit Tesla.”

The E-Tron is Audi’s first electric car and is scheduled to go on sale in 2019 and the first of three electric cars coming by 2020.

[Source: CNBC]