Motor Trend has announced that the made in California, Tesla Model S luxury cruiser is their pick for the 2013 car of the year. This is the first time an electric vehicle has won the distinction. This selection is momentous not just for Tesla but for the future of electric cars. For the first time ever, two electric cars were in the running, in addition to the Tesla S, the Chinese built, California assembled CODA was also amongst the finalists.
In describing the finalists for the 2013 Car of the Year, Motor Trend stated that this is the most competitive field of vehicles they have ever assessed. One of the criteria used to assess the winner is efficiency which, according to Motor Trend is up across the board for 2013.
As the unanimous winner for all of the judges, Motor Trend editors lauded the Tesla S saying:
“The 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year is one of the quickest American four-doors ever built. It drives like a sports car, eager and agile and instantly responsive. But it’s also as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce, can carry almost as much stuff as a Chevy Equinox, and is more efficient than a Toyota Prius. Oh, and it’ll sashay up to the valet at a luxury hotel like a supermodel working a Paris catwalk. By any measure, the Tesla Model S is a truly remarkable automobile, perhaps the most accomplished all-new luxury car since the original Lexus LS 400. That’s why it’s our 2013 Car of the Year.”
The importance of this decision cannot be overstated. Finally a fully electric car has bested combustion vehicles in a wide range of criteria that go well beyond efficiency. These criteria include:
ADVANCEMENT IN DESIGN Quality execution of exterior and interior styling; innovation in vehicle packaging; good selection and use of materials.
ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE Integrity of total vehicle concept and execution, clever solutions to packaging, manufacturing and dynamics issues; use of cost-effective technologies that benefit the consumer.
EFFICIENCY Low energy consumption and carbon footprint, relative to the vehicle’s competitive set.
SAFETY Primary safety — the vehicle’s ability to help the driver avoid a crash — as well as secondary safety measures that protect its occupants from harm during a crash.
VALUE Price and equipment levels measured against those of vehicles in the same market segment.
PERFORMANCE OF INTENDED FUNCTION How well the vehicle does the job its designers and product planners intended.
The time has come for those who have been waiting for an electric vehicle that does it all better than cars powered by a combustion engine. Motor Trend’s selection of the Tesla S signals that the electric vehicle has arrived and is here to stay.