Greenest Car—Tesla Model S—No Surprise

What combines the timeless cool of the Porsche 911 with forward-thinking technology while also offering a hat tip to one of history’s most infamous inventors? That would be the much-heralded Tesla Model S.


This truly chic sedan has received massive amounts of praise from critics and drivers alike since its initial roll out. While we must admit that we’re adding another voice to an already loud echo chamber, we couldn’t help but hand the 2013 GreenLux Award for Greenest Car to this magnificent automobile.


The GoodLife Report first covered Tesla Motors back in 2010 — GLR’s own David Dames was granted an exclusive test drive through the streets of downtown Manhattan — and the new(ish) kid on the car industry’s block continues to impress. The Model S began appearing on American roadways in 2012 and made its European debut last summer. The sedan has proven to be a hit on the two continents and it keeps topping monthly sales rankings on both sides of the pond. Among its many awards: the 2013 World Green Car of the Year nod and Motor Trend’s pick for Car of the Year. The Model S also landed on Time Magazine’s list of the “Best 25 Inventions for 2012.” Oh, and it’s currently Consumer Report’s highest scoring vehicle to date.


And there’s plenty of rationale behind all of these kudos. Not only does the Model S look sharp with its elegant curves, it’s one of the greenest cars on the market. The vehicle, which comes with either a 60 or 85 kWh battery, can pull between 88 and 94 MPGe in terms of city fuel economy.


Depending on the battery, the annual fuel costs can run as low as $650. That kind of budget won’t get you much further than Easter in a Porsche 911. In case you were wondering, the 60 kWh battery can cover 208 miles when it’s fully charged. The 80 kWh? 265 miles.


There’s also plenty of features that are quickly becoming industry standards. The dashboard console offers drivers tons of stats that cover fuel economy and mileage. The sedan’s Google Maps app can provide directions to the nearest charging station as well. However, like many electric cars, the Model S isn’t going to win any land-speed records. The Signature Performance model has a top speed of 130 MPH.




But that isn’t much of a concern for those of us who are less interested in recreating various scenes from Need for Speed and would prefer to focus on fuel economy and elegance. Furthermore, the Model S managed to impress David Letterman. A prototype appeared on the notoriously cranky host’s talk show a few years ago. Because it doesn’t produce tailpipe emissions, the sedan became the first fully-functioning car in history to hit Dave’s stage.


Yet another reason why Forbes recently reported that the Model S is the most-loved car in America right now. We can’t wait to find out what’s next for Tesla Motors.