There have been purely electric cars long before the Tesla Model 3.
But Tesla has made it cool. Sort of like how Apple made the iPhone cool, Tesla made not just gas-free, environment-saving cars. It made cool high-performance vehicles that are fun to drive.
And nobody really cares that Chevy Volt has already been available for years for a comparable price. Couple of days since its unveil, the new Model 3 has already outsold the Volt. Not a small feat, considering, they are only going to start delivering in about a year!
But Tesla, like Apple, like Amazon is in many ways a disruptive technology....