Beyond TESLA: Other Brands Forge Ahead In Electric & Hybrid Cars

TESLA has again managed to capture the imagination of a tech obsessed public with the introduction of its Model 3, $35,000, 200 mile range plug-in electric, racking up $400 million in deposits for a car at least two years away from delivery. That’s 400,000 $1,000 deposits.

Looking past the hype, and the current slack demand for alt-vehicles due to low fuel costs, other car companies are likely to be much farther ahead in the electric car business in the long run than TESLA.

The newest Chevrolet Volt and the smaller Bolt with 200-mile electric range, join entries from Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, BMW and other major brands which in many ways outpace TESLA.

Hyundai, which has been an aggressive market maker worldwide for a decade, recently made a major move in the hybrid and electric segment introducing the Ioniq model, an attractive compact four door with three power train options that competes most directly with the Toyota Prius line-up.

The Hyundai Ioniq will be offered as a hybrid with 104 horsepower 4-cylinder engine, plug-in hybrid with more electric power, and a straight electric with a 110-mile range per charge.

For Hyundai serving the eco market is really part of a long-range strategy which has included the Sonata Hybrid sedan and the Hydrogen Fuel Cell edition of the Tucson crossover SUV available in California.

And while there is no frenzy surrounding the new Ioniq, the sheer sales power of Hyundai and its more traditional company structure, makes it a strong bet as a long-term player in hybrid and electric market.

As for TESLA losing an estimated $4,000 per car, and especially after massive embarrassing problems with the just released exotic Model X, will likely increasingly emerge as battery manufacturer that also makes some halo vehicles.