Tesla's had the luxury electric car segment all to itself since it introduced its original Roadster in 2008.
Now, years later, serious competition is swarming in.
On Thursday, Jaguar officially unveiled the I-Pace, an all-electric luxury crossover that goes up against the Tesla Model X sport utility vehicle and could lure other buyers who might otherwise be considering a Model S high-end sedan or the somewhat lower-priced Model 3.
"The I-Pace is the first real legitimate Tesla fighter," said Jessica Caldwell, automotive analyst at Edmunds. "The small crossover segment couldn't be hotter, and a stylish EV from a storied luxury marque like Jaguar is very likely to turn some Tesla shoppers' heads."
The I-Pace is just the latest entrant among luxury electric vehicles.
Later this year, Audi plans to release its all-electric e-tron crossover in Europe, and in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2019. The Porsche Mission E all-electric will hit the market late this year or early next.
Sponsored Video Stories from LifeZette
Over the next two years, all major automakers will be issuing all-electric cars, luxury and otherwise. Several start-ups from Silicon Valley to Southern California to China will be torquing into the market as well.
The I-Pace goes on sale in Europe in July at a base price of about $87,000 before government incentives, though sources tell The Times the U.S. price will be lower. Jaguar dealers in the U.S. are currently taking orders and will begin receiving vehicles in the second half of the year, the company said.
"The car is important because it represents a larger trend" in the emerging luxury EV segment, said Brian Moody of Autotrader. "As larger automakers with broader customer bases and much larger distribution channels see the relative popularity of cars like the Model S, they naturally want to capture some of that audience -- though likely on a larger scale."
That's bound to lift the mass market for lower-priced vehicles, such as the Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf, he said.