Re: There is a slight problem
I don't think that Tesla is "looking desperate" - they are at least thinking about the issues of electric cars and working on ideas to address them. I think in-city, electric cars can have a possible future but I see two immediate issues:
1 - the cars tend to be a lot more expensive. For the moment, residual value is still somewhat of a mystery, as the technology keeps improving the question is what happens to the old cars - I'd say any manufacturer will either have to plan in a decent upgrade process or face questions from intelligent customers. This also has an impact of the cost over the lifetime of the car: how much fuel do you need to save to repay what you spent more to buy the car?
2 - the active radius of a full fuel tank is still substantially higher than that of a single charge. That $99 vs $50 comparison doesn't look that glorious when you consider that a 2.0l diesel engine like the ones you can find in the lower model Audis actually gets over 1000km out of a single tank, which drops to about 600-700 if you have a lead foot and a German motorway in between the A and B endpoints of your journey (been there, done that and that was at a measured average speed of 165 km/h). So, from a practical perspective that comparison doesn't work - hybrids do better there.
However, if you can charge the car for free, the money equation changes quite considerably. And it strikes me as a lot more fun to drive - someone has one of them where I'm working right now and it's hard to catch the owner because you never hear him arrive :). Tesla has at least addressed the issue of electric cars being boring - these cars seem fun to drive.