The new Chevy volt features 50 mile pure electric range, 400+ total range, with 41 mpg on gas at a mass market price.
While the volt 2.0 can not compete with model s on overall quality, it does address several issue that limits BEV: high cost(from a huge battery), range anxiety, slow refill.
To compare volt vs BEV:
For short daily commute, 50 mile electric range usually is sufficient for most people, which means gas is rarely required. It is identical to a BEV: energy efficient, recharge at home, clean and quiet. A big bless for cities.
For long road trips, it has the range, less but still good enough mpg(I feel the mpg can go higher as they further improve the generator and battery), more importantly a fast refill of gas.
To me, the volt design as it is improved to this 2.0 version is starting to win BEV as a practical mass market solution.
Although the style and performance of volt is still far behind model s as of today, there is no technical barrier for it to go beyond model s.
A serial hybrid is powered by pure electricity which is no different from BEV, it has all the performance potential, instant torch etc.
The battle is really in electricity storage: small battery + gas+ generator vs. large battery. Since today's battery has only few percentage of the energy density of gas. Using large battery result in less range, heavier weight and higher cost. And it does not offer the flexibility of fast gas refill.
I think tesla can consider bringing up alternative versions of model s and x with e.g. 20kw battery and on-board(or even portable if possible) generator. This should immediately reduce total cost and weight of the vehicle and solve the range and charging network issue without sacrificing the benefit of a electric car. Tesla has proven successfully that a electric car can be a good if not better car than ICE, yet there is a question to ask: whether the electricity should be stored in pure battery or in battery and gas combined solution. Looking at the energy density of today's battery, I favor the 2nd solution. If GM are able to improve volt to near model s quality before model 3, the EV war may end earlier than expected.
Correct me for any misconception.