PHOTO CAPTION: Tesla Model S earned 5 star safety rating in 2013.

Tesla Model S: The Most Popular Electric Car of 2013

While Tesla has enjoyed a largely successful year despite a trio of battery fires, other EV carmakers have been compelled to cut prices to stimulate sales.

Published: 31-Dec-2013

According to the Seattle Times, despite federal investigations involving three Model S cars that went on fire in October and November, one by collision and two after hitting objects on the streets, the company’s array of electric cars prove to be the most sought after cars for this year.

The Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), a trade group based in Washington, D.C., said that it expects to see a nearly 100 percent increase in the plug-in and battery electric cars compared to 2012’s sales.

However, though the sales augmented that much, it is still fewer than 100,000 vehicles, in a year when the automobile industry aims to reach 15 million sales.

The total sales clearly bring a positive sight for many environmentalists. However, the high points of 2013 were sometimes counterbalanced by impediments. One example would be the subdued sales of EV models and Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid that prompted automakers to cut down its prices by thousands of dollars.

Along with that, Tesla’s Model S sedan showed that it could stand on its own in the automobile market, gaining total sales of more or less 20,000 cars in the U.S.

It has been a successful year for Tesla so far. In August, Tesla Model S has received a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which proves that it is one of the safest vehicles in the U.S. The 5.4 star rating to be exact, means that the Tesla Model S has the lowest possibility of causing injuries to its passengers. The electric sedan is joining the one percent group of cars awarded by NHTSA with a similar rating in the safety category.

A few weeks after the award from the federal agency, the California New Car Dealers Association released a report showing that Tesla S sold more units compared to luxury cars in the area leaving behind Porsche, Land Rover, and Volvo. Come November, Edmunds.com revealed that the Model S has become the newest favorite in the U.S wealthy communities.

Evidence that Tesla S has been in-demand is the rapid broadening of public charging stations. There were 6,712 charging stations in the United States in mid-December, the Energy Department.

This year, said Eric Evarts, senior associate autos editor at Consumer Reports in an e-mail to the Seattle Times, is the year in which electric vehicles have “captured the public imagination” and turn out to be “more practical for the mainstream.”

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