Electric vehicles have been part of the public psyche for a long time now. In fact, electric vehicles originate from the 1830s, when inventors began experimenting with different applications on trains and carriages. It has taken a long time for these concepts to find a place in mass production; but that time is finally here. Thanks to Tesla, electric vehicles are about to hit the mainstream.

How Is Tesla Bringing Electric Vehicles to the Mass Market?

While you might only know Tesla as the company run by some guy named Elon that makes cars for rich people, that image is quickly changing along with the release of the brand’s newest product. The Tesla Model 3 is being marketed as the electric vehicle for all people. This is because, unlike Tesla’s other vehicles, the Model 3 starts at an achievable $35,000.

Certainly, a $35,000 vehicle is out of the price range of many Americans. However, that’s the price to buy it new. In five years or so, more people will be able to enter the electric vehicle market with used Model 3s.

What Makes Electric Vehicles Different from Regular Cars?

Obviously, electric vehicles run on an electric power source instead of gasoline like a traditional internal combustion engine. This process, however, isn’t as simple as just plugging your vehicle into the wall—even though that’s the preferred method for electrical vehicle charging.

It’s more complicated than that because electricity doesn’t just come from outlets. Another form of energy—such as coal or gas—has to be converted in order to create electricity. This is whyelectric cars aren’t zero emission—or even necessarily cleaner than internal combustion engines. At least that’s the way things are right now.

The reason why the release of the Tesla Model 3 is so important is because it increases the demand for expanding renewable electricity sources. If, instead of having to burn coal to create electricity to charge your car, we could harness the power of the sun or wind on a mass scale, that would allow for vehicles to be truly emission-free.

It’s also common for there to be price differences between insurance rates of electric and non-electric vehicles. You should use an auto insurance rate comparison tool before deciding you want to splurge on a new car.

Additionally, Tesla has closed the gap between electric and non-electric cars in one crucial area: performance. In the past, many consumers have been turned off by electric or hybrid vehicles because they typically don’t accelerated as quickly—or look as flashy—as other vehicles. With eye-catching designs and solid responsiveness (The Model 3 goes 0-60 in 5.6 seconds), Tesla is changing people’s perception of an electric vehicle’s capability.

Smart Energy Providers Are Responding to Shifting Needs

In order to accommodate the growing number of electric vehicles, and to reduce the negative impacts of coal and gas use, many companies are shifting to a focus on solar and wind energy. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that between now and 2040, $10.2 trillion dollars will be spent on new power generation around the world—72 percent of that will come from wind and solar.

The study cites the increasing demand for electric vehicles as one of the primary drivers of this transition, further cementing Tesla’s importance to the global shift to mass-produced electric cars.

Not so long ago, electric cars seemed like they would always be part of the future—continually pushed back due to problems with range and cost. Thanks to companies such as Tesla, it’s clear that a future of electric vehicles will become a reality. It’s not just future tech anymore. It’s happening right now.