Column: Why these electric car brands are finally giving Tesla a run for its money
Our new style editor Marius Borg Høiby on why we're gearing up for an exciting new age of luxury electric cars
Electric cars – or EVs – have been around for a while now, dominating our headlines and concept cars ever since the first functional electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster, came on the market in 2008. The Tesla's popularity has only sky rocketed – literally, after Tesla founder Elon Musk launched one of his 2008 Roadsters into space last month with his successful SpaceX mission.
Since then, Tesla has dominated the market for electric vehicles. Despite being popular in principle, other early EVs weren't widely applicable to most car lovers. The costs were high, the range was low, the speeds even worse and as for the looks – the designs of these cars were horrible. In short, EVs just did not reach the standards of a petrol car.
The Roadster changed all this. Finally an EV with some range, speed, and that looked good, and Tesla has effortlessly maintained its position as the jewel in the crown of luxury electric cars. Until now. 10 years since introducing the Roadster, could Musk finally be pushed from the high throne? If we believe the major car brands lining up to take on Tesla at last week's Geneva Motor Show, the answer could one day be yes.
This year's Geneva Motor Show's emphasis on electric motoring saw some of the most exciting concept cars launched in years, and many of them were embracing electric. Porsche launched its Mission E Cross Turismo Concept, an electric athlete that I predict will be the biggest competitor of the Tesla Model S - imagine an EV with the handling of a 911 and the luxury of a Panamera. Porsche is known for its attention to detail as a sportscar manufacturer, and seems hell bent on jumping onto the major trends in luxury vehicles right now - including launching their luxury sedan and SUV. >>
Other exciting launches include the Jaguar I Pace, with a range of 298 miles, and the Audi e-Tron Quattro Concept with its 310-mile range. These are the first to come close to the Tesla Model S's 335 miles. And, if you look past the obvious luxury brands, there are still more new and exciting EVs coming soon.
The Rimac Concept Two is expected to be the quickest electric car ever made, with an acceleration from 0-60 in 1.85 seconds, and a whopping 1900-hp. These sporty, luxury models are even inspiring mass manufacturers such as Nissan, whose brand new Nissan Leaf boasts an impressive 310-mile range.
Most of these exciting EV-cars are still concept cars, so we won't be seeing them on the road for the next couple of months or years. But one thing is definite - Tesla is no longer alone in the luxury electric race.