The Ford Fusion Energi has been a perfect gateway drug for me - I wouldn't have bought an EV without having a gas engine so I didn't have to worry about range at the time, but now I love driving electric so much that I'm going full EV (BEV) next time.
Most everyone I know with any sort of hybrid or EV feels the same way. The problem is that most electric vehicles are ugly, small, don't have enough range, don't have good performance, or some combination thereof.
Tesla has demonstrated that they can build EVs that are attractive, comfortable, have good range and excellent performance... So, I stood in line at a Tesla store on Thursday and dropped $1,000 to reserve a vehicle I'd never seen.
After the reveal, I'm even more excited. It is everything we've come to expect from Tesla at a reasonable price... And the early reservation numbers show that people want what Tesla makes!
This should be a major wake-up call to the rest of the manufacturers. If Ford were to make a 250-mile Fusion Electric, I would consider it. However, Ford and the other established manufacturers have two major areas they need to address:
1) Charging infrastructure. Tesla has invested and is continuing to invest in the Supercharger network. This is key to EV adoption. Nobody wants to be restricted to their own geographic area, even if they rarely take road trips. The infrastructure of CHAdeMO and SAE-CCS L3 stations is almost nonexistent outside of coastal areas.
2) The dealers. They need to educate both sales and maintenance staff at the dealers on how to do their thing with EVs, and also how to not be a pain in the ass. I chose the Ford Fusion Energi via online research, but I had to go to FIVE different Ford dealers before I found one I could tolerate!
Considering Ford could have tried to make the dealer experience better at any point, I don't think they're motivated to do so, thus I don't think we'll see any change here.
Tesla is a disruptive company, and the established manufacturers need to sit up and take notice (and innovate) or they will be left behind. Tesla is, right now, where Apple was in 2007 and Detroit is mostly doing a good impression of Nokia, Microsoft, et al at that point. Now, Apple has completely changed the cell phone industry, Nokia is gone, and Microsoft is a shadow of its former self. What will the car industry look like in 10 years?