Tesla has proven it can make EVs that outsell gas cars, but it's still not a mainstream brand.

In order for Tesla and Elon Musk to see their mission through, they have to break through to mainstream car shoppers. Can it happen? Will it happen? Sure, it's not as if Tesla and Elon Musk aren't aware of what needs to happen. Instead, it's just a matter of making it all fall into place as quickly and efficiently as possible. This certainly isn't easy for a small, all-electric automaker, especially during tough financial times.

As far as we're concerned, Tesla seems to know what it needs to do to appeal more to mainstream car shoppers. First and foremost, it needs to offer cheaper vehicles. A smaller car is certainly an option, but many people don't want a smaller car. Expansion, cost-cutting, and battery tech improvements may be key.

To date, Tesla has had the odds stacked against it, with just a single factory until rather recently, electric car incentives coming to an end in some areas, and the fact that it makes a niche product. In fact, Elon Musk recounts a time when electric cars seemed "very stupid," and starting an electric car company was "like stupidity squared." However, Tesla is now rapidly expanding its global footprint, adding more future models, and working to produce its own battery cells.

We've already seen Tesla drop the prices of its vehicles repeatedly while improving them at the same time. If the company can continue on that path as economies of scale begin to shift in its favor, it should have no problem appealing more to a mainstream audience. Not to mention the growing interest in electric cars and the potential for increased government support along the way.

Our friend Ben Sullins takes a look at Tesla's story and the data to help determine if and when Tesla will move into the mainstream automotive market. Check out the short video and then let us know if you agree with our take, as well as Ben's.