Could Tesla Motors revolutionize the auto industry, again?
Ten years ago all electric vehicles like the EV1, EV Plus, RAV4 EV, and others were relegated to the back burner when the automakers successfully fought the CARB ZEV mandate, and got CARB redirected to support hydrogen fuel cell research while the automakers went full bore into SUV sales. Some game changing events occurred a few years ago changing the direction of the automakers enough that there are now several electric vehicles on the market, in mass production by major automakers, on sale around the world. One significant event was the development of Plug-in Prius conversion kits by activists who launched a cottage industry of Prius conversions, keeping the "plug-in vehicle" on the table. The second, and more important, was the rise of Tesla Motors and the success of the Tesla Roadster. Because the success of Tesla made the major automakers EV programs look so bad, the company is credited with having given justification for major automakers to re-enter the electric vehicle market. Tesla Motors, with the Model S/X, appears poised to revolutionize the auto industry, again.
One may look at the total sales of Tesla Roadsters, 2500, and curiously ask how that can be called a success. That car competed in a narrow niche market of upscale high end sports cars, where 2500 sales is a significant number. Especially for an expensive electric car.