As Tesla goes mainstream, luxury carmakers plan rivals

Tesla’s Model 3 is perhaps the most desired electric vehicle in history, with a waiting list that stretches more than a year.

But competition could start to heat up relatively soon, according to one analyst.

For now, Tesla seems to be in a class of its own, and seems to enjoy a considerable lead over competitors. It has no rivals in the high-end electric car segment, and enthusiasm for the Model 3, based on reservations, has far outpaced the interest in similarly priced competitors. These include the already available Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf.

But Tesla will face a bevy of competitors in the next few years, especially among high end carmakers with strong brands of their own, said Barclays analyst Brian Johnson, who has been a consistent skeptic of the California electric car maker and renewable energy company, even though Tesla stock has risen more than 50 percent this year alone.

“We can just hear the Tesla fans objections to the volume of competitor launches – most of those are mass market cars, and many are compliance cars — and hence not appealing to the status-conscious Tesla target segment,” Johnson said in his note to clients on Friday.

Recently, Barclays hosted a powertrain conference in London, where several high-end auto companies showed off their planned electric offerings.

From what he saw there, along with recent announcements from manufacturers, Johnson said legacy luxury automakers will begin a launch cadence in 2019 that will distribute a broad selection of electric vehicles across several brands by 2021.

“In particular at our…

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