I agree on all counts, naperlou. They've developed a great reputation, but energy storage will be the key as they try to move closer to the mainstream. Elon Musk has said that "half of all cars will be (pure) electric" in 15 years, so I can only assume that's where they're headed. We'll have a blog about that tomorrow.
Chuck, this fits in with Tesla's strategic plan. They brought out the sports car, next the BMW 5 Series competitor (the Model S) and next will be the more mass market car. In the car business the way to make lots of money is to make a mass market vehicle. In manufacturing the real money is in large volumes.
What Tesla is doing is to engineer their cars well as the recent acolades attest to. That gives them a good reputation. By selling the high end cars they get real experience in the field. This is especially important with a totally new technology.
The next step will be something Tesla cannot really control, though. Energy storage has to improve greatly for them to make it in the next step. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
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