The Toyota Prius was the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle.
That should serve as at least some indication of how difficult it is to enter the electric/hybrid vehicle game, that only when global mega-giant Toyota came along did the world finally see a large-run production hybrid.
So when Tesla Motors entered the automotive marketplace – a newcomer startup with no parent to shield it from financial risk – “failure” would have seemed like a safe forecast for its all-electric 2012 Model S sedan. Yet the company did not fold, nor is the Model S anywhere near the end of its marketability. In fact, demand runs quite a bit ahead of supply at the moment.
With the Model S supercharger network in-place and constantly expanding, a Tesla driver can now stop and “refuel” in about 20 minutes to yield an additional 200 miles of range: more than enough to make it to the next supercharger. That takes the Model S from novelty to functional every-day transit solution in a way that skeptics had feared impossible.
It would seem obvious, then, that the Tesla Model S is hands-down the most important “green” car of the decade.
But wait. Other global mega-giant General Motors has also forayed into this territory, with the Chevrolet Volt. True, its all-electric range is only around 35 miles, but at this point, a petrol-powered generator kicks-in to give the driver all the range that he or she would ever need. That gives the Volt the undisputed edge in terms of instant broad appeal, because as we all know, petrol is everywhere.
So Green Car Reports is trying to see ahead, and predict which of these two green machines will be remembered as the most significant of the 2010s. Oh, and they threw a little-known truck called the Ford F-150 into the mix on account of its aluminum body.
Well, we want to know, too. What do you think? Is the newbie Tesla Model S the green car of the decade by virtue of how its paved the way for later all-electric cars? Or is the Chevrolet Volt, by virtue of its advanced gas-powered electric powertrain and the immensity of its creator (GM)?