Electric car named Motor Trend car of the year for first time

The Tesla Model S has been names Motor Trend magazine’s car of the year, marking the first time ever that an electric car has received the honour since the magazine started the competition in 1949.

“It is one of America’s quickest four-door sedans ever built, but it’s not a sports car,” says Motor Trend editor-in-chief Edward Loh. “It is as smooth and effortless as a Rolls Royce, but it’s not a $500,000 luxury limousine, either.”

This marks the first time that the magazine has chosen a car that doesn’t use gas and doesn’t have an internal combustion engine.

While drivers may be worried about the battery life of an electric car, Loh says he drove the Tesla Model S 285 miles (nearly 460 km) from Los Vegas to Los Angeles on a single charge.

The car also has a Canadian connection, Tesla company founder and super-entrepreneur Elon Musk immigrated to Canada from South Africa when he was 17 and attended Queens University in Kingston, Ont. before transferring to the the University of Pennsylvania. (He was also reportedly the inspiration for Ironman billionaire character Tony Stark.)

While the Tesla Model S may be Motor Trend‘s top pick, it has sold just a couple hundred models, starting around US$58,570.

Here’s Loh with more on why the Model S got top marks: