Since they were - are are - using primarily NiMH batteries, not me.Who else 10 years ago thought Toyota would be a leader in EVs due to their lead in hybrid technology?
As for comparing Tesla to legacy automakers: the only magic about Tesla is the willingness of its founder to throw truly fast amounts of money at the operation. They have made plenty of mistakes, both conceptual and pragmatic, and have used still more money to get passed them. If GM or Toyota had used Musk's business model, they would have either gone bankrupt or undergone a shareholder revolution in which upper management was evicted. GM could certainly have leveraged their Voltec and...Boltec? powertrains into many more so-called "electrified" vehicles, and Toyota could have several EVs by now if they chose, but it required a company willing to endure years and years of huge losses to get a big EV operation started. Tesla is the orange in the apple crate, not a miracle.