Are electric cars the way of the future? Not if the oil industry has its way. Personally, I would much rather see a development of a clean burning fuel that is a direct, drop-in replacement for gasoline. My hope is that in 20 years my classic cars are not forced off the road by the lack of availability of gas and oil. The thought of having to switch them over to electric would be sad, and ruin the historical experience of enjoying them. Every engine has its own sound and feel that would be sorely missed. I am fine with alternative sources of powering cars, but if “all the eggs” are once again “placed in one basket” (switching from oil to electric), the rise in demand of electricity will just cause other problems.
As far as Tesla is concerned, I seriously doubt they will still be around in 5 years, save being purchased and folded into one of the existing major brands. History of the auuto industry has taught us well that if a small car maker comes up with a good idea, the big players will beat them at their own game. Tesla surely has owner loyalty, but so did Packard and Studebaker and they still exited the industry due to competition and economies of scale. If given a choice of which electric car I would choose for a luxury car that I must drive daily, I would choose an electric Lexus or Acura over a Tesla all day long, because of their reputation, yes, but also because I believe they will still be build cars in 5-10 years, even if the electrics prove to be a failure and get dropped in a few years, because they have the resources and an existing line of successful cars to fall back on should their electric models stumble in the market. Just like most consumers in 1961 picked a Ford Falcon or a Plymouth Valiant over a Studebaker Lark or a Rambler American. The fact that both of the later had more experience and were first in building small cars in the US just didn’t matter; consumers assumed then that the big three could make compacts better (quality, reliability, and value) than the small independent makers and overall they were correct.