Tesla: The Time Has Come
1. Chevrolet Volt: The Volt is a slightly smaller car, strictly for four people. It also has an on-board generator, so it can be driven completely without range anxiety. It fits less luggage, and while its telematics are probably second-best, it will not be as spectacular as the Tesla Model S. The Volt is $44,575 fully loaded, before tax adjustments, and has received the highest customer satisfaction rating of any car in the market today.
2. Fisker Karma: The Fisker has an on-board generator, just like the Volt. However, it has placed the electric motors at the rear of the car, significantly reducing the trunk space. The two rear-seat bucket seats fit only smaller people, compared to the Volt.
The Fisker Karma is very heavy, but is also in the eyes of many people the best-looking car in the market today -- regardless of price. Speaking of price, the Fisker Karma costs about as much as a fully loaded Tesla Model S, starting at just over $100,000 -- but the options list is relatively short in comparison. The Karma competes more with extreme sports cars such as Aston Martin, rather than practical luxury sedans, mostly as a result of its tiny trunk space.
What's the bottom line on the Tesla Model S? It has a dramatic set of unique properties -- large sedan, huge luggage space and with record all-electric range -- that provide for a break-through position in the market. In addition, the company's location in Silicon Valley makes for a most interesting dynamic with a strong "home market" inside both the state and the country. Assuming Tesla passes the crash tests and manages to avoid any other quality issues, it's got an epic winner on its hands.