Musk on July 20 published another blog entry, “Master Plan, Part Deux,” in which he further explains his vision for energy sustainability and Tesla’s role in advancing the cause.

The piece calls for Tesla Motors’ merger with SolarCity to spur the mass production of individual solar-power units; expand Tesla’s all-electric product line to include all classes of consumer light vehicles, commercial heavy trucks and a high-occupancy urban transport vehicle; continued R&D in self-driving technologies; and further growing ride-sharing networks.

“The point of all this was, and remains, accelerating the advent of sustainable energy, so that we can imagine far into the future and life is still good,” Musk writes. “It's not some silly, hippy thing – it matters for everyone.”

Most of the 373,000 people who slapped down $1,000 deposits earlier this year to reserve their turns at owning Tesla’s Model 3 undoubtedly were influenced by the car’s $35,000 price, 215-mile (345-km) single-charge range and advanced apps and gadgets, notes an Associated Press story.

When researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Carnegie Mellon University asked consumers to share what they knew about EVs, they learned the Tesla brand was well known nationwide, even among those not planning on buying electrics, the AP says.

And Tesla hasn’t sacrificed performance for the sake of panache.

“Tesla has an advantage in that its EVs have significantly better acceleration performance than other EVs on the market,” Kate Whitefoot, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon, tells WardsAuto.

Tesla claims on its website the Model 3 will go from 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in less than six seconds, whereas General Motors’ first-generation Chevrolet Volt had a 0-60 time of 9.2 seconds in electric mode and the new Chevrolet Bolt ramps up in about seven seconds.

“Tesla has been putting more emphasis on acceleration. They have already proven that they can make a sporty EV that is fun to drive,” Whitefoot says. “It is a very interesting strategy, attracting auto enthusiasts that may not have normally been interested in purchasing an EV but will consider a Tesla.”

At the same time, Morris contends GM and other, bigger OEMs “could be selling a lot more EVs...these are excellent automobiles that they’re building.”