Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was asked about his thoughts on BMW's i3 electric car during an August earnings conference call last year. He's response: burst out in laughter. Then he pulled together to say,  "I'm glad to see that BMW is bringing an electric car to market. That's cool. There's room to improve on the i3 and I hope that they do."

BMW is retorting back now. President and CEO of BMW North America Ludwig Willisch explained that the i3 is "the ultimate driving machine among the EVs."

He explained how BMW makes the i3. They produce carbon fiber in Moses Lake, Washington with hydropower, and then use fully recyclable materials to build the car, with wind power. The whole production cycle is made to be fully sustainable.

In terms of drive quality. the i3 is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and weighs in under 3,000 pounds, giving it more out of each kilowatt.

Reviews have been positive about the i3 for now. Car and Driver wrote, "Other than a shifter that seems designed to enrage, though, it’s hard to find fault with the i3 ... Capable and thoughtful, the i3 only strays from BMW’s core values in its daring design."

Will the i3 be able to hold its own over Tesla's Model S?