The luxury approach was a clever trick. It embraced the inherent cost increase of the advanced technology of an electric car by drowning it in luxurious features you’d find on traditional luxury cars, as well as performance that could often beat those gas-powered cars, to justify the hefty technology price tag.
Compliance cars, on the other hand, were often seemingly thrown together on normal car platforms with a giant wad of batteries stuffed wherever they would fit. They were more commonly based on super-cheap hatchbacks, like with the Spark, to help keep the price down. And most importantly, nobody really wanted one. (Though the Spark was oddly quick and the 500e was remarkably attractive.)
But now, I feel there is need to clarify that electric vehicles have become a little more nuanced from these two extremes.