One can legitimately make the argument that there is a place in the market for all of these kinds of plug-in cars: The sub-100 mile cars such as Nissan LEAF, and the extended-range cars such as Chevy Volt. Key to Tesla's success right now is its absence of direct competition.
There is an an additional set of counter-arguments here, and they relate to everything outside the car itself. In other words, it's about Tesla's direct sales model, and substantial lack of union labor. Could GM copy those aspects, too?
Clearly, for GM to get rid of its dealership model and union labor is unrealistic in the medium term. They will have the right car before they get rid of the other handicaps in competing with Tesla.
However, GM does have one advantage against Tesla: scale. It ought to be able to procure materials and produce a car such as this, at a lower cost.
The moral of the story is this: Tesla could very well remain the EV leader for as far as the eye can see. The EV market could, in turn, outgrow all estimates by a mile. One factor, however, where Tesla isn't in control, and could relatively easily be punctuated, is the copycat department.
One can simultaneously be Tesla's biggest fan -- from both a product and company perspective -- and also recognize that its market multiple will eventually peak, as a result of far more direct competition. At some point in the next few years, I'm guessing this will happen.
At the time of publication the author was long AAPL.
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.