Tesla Model X - pushing EVs forward or just too expensive?

The long awaited Tesla Model X was released this month.

It boasts a 257-mile range, goes 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and will drive up to 155 mph. And check out those falcon-wing doors.

Reviews are heaping on praise, but the price tag still clocks in somewhere over $100,000, keeping it out of reach for most of us.

Nevertheless, Tesla has succeeded where many other carmakers haven’t: making an electric vehicle that’s highly anticipated, desirable, and, like it or not, hyped.

But “filter out the hype, and the question is whether this will make the slightest difference to encouraging a broader shift away from fossil fuel-powered cars to electric vehicles.” writes David Tyfield over at The Conversation.

He argues that the hype is precisely why Tesla’s out-of-reach cars will boost EV popularity. The Model X is flashy, and that’s why it’ll draw people to electric cars.

“Seeing them on the streets also shapes what electric cars mean to people,” Tyfield writes. “In other words not a milk float or golf buggy, but the epitome of what a 21st century car could be.”

Green Car Reports thinks that’s the vibe Ford was going for with it’s new Focus Electric ad, but a Focus isn’t really the kind of car that inspires awe.

Writing for Fast Company, Neil Ungerleider, says that that the electric future belongs to utilitarian cars: 

“Marketing and branding are as much a part of the automobile game as designing and building vehicles. But there’s also an economic aspect that may matter for American customers sooner rather than later.”

That’s all to say that other carmakers have room to step up and compete.

What do you think? Is Tesla’s luxury EV tactic a good thing for the industry, or is it more important to open electric drive up to the average consumer? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Images courtesy of Tesla