Yes, there's an element of that. Established automakers were already raking in high profit margins using their existing production and product lineup. Perhaps that's motivation for not acknowledging how simple it would have been to replicate Tesla's efforts.I don't think there was any way for profitable legacy makers to make EVs a success...any more than Kodak would have promoted their digital camera. I think any real competition for Tesla will come from China. Maybe it is already happening.
I'm sifting through my Ford Ranger Electrics right now, and it's both interesting and a bit discouraging to see that, for nearly 20 years, Ford made little to no progress in the EV realm despite the technology being available for most of that time. To be specific, with no other changes to their 20+ year old Ford Ranger Electric platform, the addition of lithium batteries from 10+ years ago and an upgraded charging socket would result in a compact truck with over 200 miles of range and 100 kW charging speeds. That's 20+ year old technology.