(First published in 2013)
For the first time since the awards’ inauguration, an all-electric battery powered car has been named World Green Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show. The Tesla Model S, born in California’s Silicon Valley where people tend to think differently, beat off rivals from more established European car makers to claim the prestigious prize.
The Model S is the firm’s second model, introduced after the ground-breaking Tesla Roadster had shaken the foundations of the North American car industry. This new model is a mid-large family saloon, but with a few features that set it apart from all the rest. 7 seats are cleverly packaged into a body styled to rival all the mainstream market leaders and, thanks to little details like the door handles and front grille, the £60,000 Model S has drawn favourable comparisons to premium sport-saloons like the £150,000 Aston Martin Rapide.
Without the baggage that comes with being a long-established car maker, Tesla has managed to take the lead in mass-market Electric Vehicle development. Reacting to the award, the company’s co-founder and CEO, Elon Musk, said:
“The Success of the Model S is a critical step towards the widespread adoption of sustainable transport and we are grateful to the World Car of the Year Jury for the recognition. Wining the 2013 World Green Car award is a great acknowledgement of what Tesla has accomplished with the Model S in the last four years.”
Along side the Tesla Model S, the two other finalists up for the award were: the all-electric Renault Zoe, and the plug-in hybrid Volvo V60.
To be eligible for the 2013 World Green Car award, a vehicle had to be all-new, or substantially revised, in production and on sale in at least one major market during the last year. Five “green” experts were picked to rustle through the paperwork and come up with a short-list to be mulled over by a jury of 66 of the world’s most experienced and respected car journalists and industry observers.
Their verdict sums up why the Tesla took the award this year:
“The Tesla Model S has wowed the world’s press, and for good reason: It’s a car from a start-up maker that actually competes on its merits with vehicles from established global players. The Model S is fast and stylish, its high-end models offer more range than any other electric car, and thus far, it appears to be well-built and selling well. Now that it’s in volume production, it can be argued that it is already the world’s most alluring green car that’s also practical and desirable.”
“There have only been two pure electric cars with a sensible range, and both have been made by Tesla. …It’s not cheap, but certainly isn’t expensive for what it does”.
The World Green Car award is presented by Bridgestone Corporation (Japan). Mike Martini, President, Original Equipment, U.S. & Canada Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations said, “We are very pleased and honoured to sponsor the 2013 World Green Car award. The environment is everyone’s responsibility. And throughout our global family of companies, we take this responsibility very seriously. We believe it is our mission to serve society with superior quality”.
Previous World Green Car winners:
Mercedes-Benz S 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY in 2012
Chevrolet Volt in 2011
Volkswagen BlueMotion in 2010
Honda FCX Clarity in 2009
BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics in 2008
Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec in 2007
Honda Civic Hybrid in 2006