Tesla Motors's (TSLA) battery-powered Model S sedan was named 2013 "Car of the Year" by Motor Trend magazine, a first for the maker of electric vehicles led by Elon Musk that's working to accelerate production.
Tesla's 2013 Model S, with a $57,400 base price, beat out competitors including BMW's new 3-Series sedan, Ford Motors Fusion sedan, Honda Motor's revamped Accord and Toyota Motor's 2013 Lexus GS, Motor Trend said Monday in a statement. The magazine said it's the first time the award went to an electric vehicle.
"It is a testament not only to the luxury sedan and electric car segment, but to American engineering overall," Edward Loh, editor-in-chief of Motor Trend, said in the statement. "To be the first car in the 64-year history of the award to be powered by something other than gasoline must mean it is very special."
The Palo Alto carmaker, named for inventor Nikola Tesla, is racing to expand Model S production at its plant in Fremont, after saying in September that 2012 deliveries wouldn't reach an initial 5,000-unit goal. Tesla has said that next year it will build at least 20,000 of the cars and add the Model X electric sport-utility vehicle in 2014.
Tesla rose less than 1 percent to $31.30 in extended