However, the US is not the biggest market for electric car manufacturers. That title is held by China, a country that is home to six of the ten major electric car manufacturers worldwide. The heavy-hitters in China making electric cars include BYD, SAIC, FAW Group, Geely, BAIC, and Dongfeng.
But one particular Shanghai-based electric car manufacturer has recently joined the race, and its vehicles have many features that can directly compete with Tesla.
The company is a three-year-old startup called NIO, which is backed by Chinese tech giants Tencent and Baidu and US-based Sequoia Capital.
NIO has revealed it's newest model in Bejing - a 7-seater electric SUV that goes for nearly $68,000, or 448,000 yuan, which is a shocking 50 percent cheaper than Tesla's Model X.
Here are some more shocking facts about NIO's ES8, which will have it competing the Model X.
The ES8 has an in-car artificial intelligence system, the ability to charge to the battery in only three minutes, front and rear motors with all-wheel drive, and an all-aluminum chassis. The ES8 is also the largest car in its class, offering a 2-3-2 seating arrangement. The ES8 targets the middle-class consumer providing an electric SUV that is both technologically savvy, mechanically advanced, and won't completely break the bank.
For companies like Tesla and NIO, China is an extremely important market with unique characteristics that make it appealing to the electric car industry.
One major issue for China is global warming, which can have a direct impact the countries coastal megacities if not properly addressed. As one of the worst polluters in the world, the Chinese consumer is looking to electric cars as a way to cut back on global warming. The poor air quality in parts of China is a secondary issue where electric cars can add value. Finally, China has been focusing more attention on other emerging, low-carbon industry projects such as solar and turbine power. All of these factors show a shift towards a more environmentally friendly technology leadership strategy.
As the fastest growing market for new cars, all major vehicle manufacturers are hoping to find adoption in China. But this is especially true for electric car companies like NIO and Telsa, especially with a cultural disposition to purchase the most expensive things they can afford.
Even as the newcomer, NIO President Lihong Qin doesn't seem particularly worried about the prevalence of international competition from companies like Tesla.
"Of course, we can compete against Tesla, technologically and product wise," said Qin, " but there is no winner take all rule in this industry."
With substantial investment dollars, government subsidies, and an environmentally aware consumer base, China is the next primary market for electric car manufacturers. Whether NIO and its ES8 comes out on top remains to be seen. However, with its sleek and technologically-integrated design, the ES8 is sure to turn heads.