It's nowhere near affordable or practical for the average family ........
Of course not, that's what a Camry is for. The Model S competitors are the German luxury cars like the Porsche Panamera, the BMW 650i Gran Coupe, the Audi S7, and the Mercedes-Benz CLS550 and it competes well with all of them in price and performance. I will never buy cars in this price range, but there are plenty of high income people who can afford this class of car. Tesla already had orders and deposits for 13000 cars in September 2012, and production is limited to 20,000 cars per year. Those who decide to purchase the Tesla will provide the financing for the R&D for the next model from Tesla which will be more affordable and attractive to mainstream buyers. The factory in Fremont has the capacity for 20 times current volume.
Never underestimate Elon Musk. Like Steve Jobs, he has always been ten steps ahead of everyone else. In addition, he is the founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX; Chairman of the board of SolarCity the company building the charging stations for the Tesla.
We have to face the facts, oil is a finite resource. The price per gallon has already increased tenfold in my lifetime and during my daughter's life it will probably increase tenfold again. The higher the price goes, the more attractive electric powered vehicles will become. Internal combustion engines are extremely inefficient and although much improved during the last 50 years, are never going to reach the efficiency of electric motors.
Battery technology has also benefited from breakthroughs recently. Although this tech is not commercially available yet, this area of research is a major focus of labs throughout the world because despite what the oil companies and politicians tell us, we will not be able to drill our way out of the impending oil depletion. Check out Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology
We needed a company like Tesla to push the envelope. No, the Model S is by no means a mainstream car, but it is a breakthrough that shows the future of the automobile. Twenty years ago I paid $2200 for a my first laptop computer that was primitive compared to the $500 laptop that I bought recently. Prices for the first versions of cellular phones, laptop computers and flat-screen televisions start high but drop in subsequent product cycles, and this will be true for electric powered vehicles.
Tesla Model S is getting all of these awards because not only is it a good car, it is a good electric car that points the way to the future.
I for one hope Elon Musk is successful because I like giving the finger to Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, Shell and the rest of the oil corporations who hold us hostage and pay no Federal corporate taxes.