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PHOTO CAPTION: Tesla Model S wins Motor Trend 2013 Car of the Year

Is America Ready for An Electric Car of the Year? Motor Trend Asks

Motor Trend expects to get its share of hate emails for picking the Tesla Model S at the 2013 Car of the Year.

Published: 14-Nov-2012

“I’ve seen your ‘Car of the Year’ announcement and realize how fully and completely hollow your rag is. You pass your biases off as fact and outright lies to push your liberal agenda. The Volt is garbage and you know it, but you have crawled in bed with the gutless wannabe dictator Obama. I’m an electronics design engineer by trade, for 32 years, so I know what a crock the Volt is. Americans are not European pussies, like evidently you folks are. No one wants this piece of crap, and darn few will be sold. Only a social and political whore could have so completely sold out their integrity for a joke of a car no man with any balls could possibly want. It is not a triumph nor milestone, just a political waste of time and money.”

This vehement note, from a Mr. Kerns in Wyoming, pretty much sums up the tone of the avalanche of email we received in the aftermath of naming the Chevy Volt our 2011 COTY. In fact, it’s one of the more polite ones, with no egregiously nasty homophobic slurs, no sullen threats of grievous bodily harm, and no suggestion we’re acolytes of either Adolf Hitler or Karl Marx (hey, political theory is complicated stuff, y’know). Good, bad, and ugly, I’ve kept all the Volt email in a file I’ve nicknamed “The Volt Chronicles.” Who knows, they might make interesting material for a book one day.

I thought about that file as I cast my vote for the Tesla Model S at the end of our 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year evaluation process. Would this electric vehicle be as controversial a winner as Chevy’s intelligent hybrid? Would the reaction against it be as virulent and visceral? Would reason again be shot in the head by ideology? (I’m still trying to figure any connection between Obamacare and a Chevy designed during George Bush’s presidency, because, according to many Volt Chronicles correspondents, there is one.)

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