Originally Posted by son_of_siggy
You have to think economies of scale and advances in production over the next 8-10 years. The battery pack may cost $10,000 to replace NOW, but in 8-10 years time when they'll need replacing, I'd venture they'll cost 1/5th of that. Right now, all the car companies are importing their batteries. Supposedly a factory will be opening up on the east cost, or near-about, and in a year or two that should drastically reduce the cost of production.
I for one love the EV car movement. I currently drive a Volt on a 33-mile roundtrip to-from work. Our electric rates are some of the cheapest in the country at 7.5 cents per kWh. My daily commute costs 60 cents, and that's when I can't charge for free at work. The car costs me $212 a month on the lease, with about 4k of positive equity from my trade. It saves me over that in fuel each month. It'll pay me back for the equity trade in the first 1.5 years.
Tesla makes expensive cars because they can sell fewer and have high profit margins. They'll use this success to build a base and launch into more economic consumer cars. Unlike the bigger companies they have ventured into Electric, Tesla can't afford to sell cars at a loss, because they don't have a full line of ICE cars to keep them covered. The Prius, Leaf, and Volt were all sold at losses in their early years (the Leaf and Volt still are as they are still newer). Toyota makes money on the Prius now, but it took time for people to adopt and the economies of scale to take effect.
The Tesla company is not yet making a profit. It has not sold enough cars to recoup the initial investment. It will need 100s of millions to stay afloat until battery costs come way down as you think they will. If you study the industry successful startup auto companies sold cars to the masses; not just the Rich.
The Volt is a great car BTW, but is not a range~limited electric like the tesla.