It delivers unprecedented range with the responsiveness and agility that would be expected from a sports car, yet it’s actually a luxury performance sedan, offering seating for five adults and two children.

It’s a show stopper – literally. The Tesla Model S has taken the IDEA 2013 Best in Show, surpassing all other 2013 gold winners.

“In its deliberations to select the Best in Show design, the IDEA jury debated the merits of each gold award in search 
of a product that would be seen as 
a positive beacon for the future – 
a product that could significantly influence consumer perceptions and buying behaviour,” says Roger Swales, partner GRO design, on behalf of the 2013 IDEA Jury.

“As a voice for the industrial design profession, the IDEA jury this year wanted to recognise and encourage industrial progress toward environmentally sustainable product solutions,” Swales says.

“This spring saw CO2 levels in the atmosphere reach a landmark high, leading to renewed calls for governments to stimulate changes to the way society consumes energy,” he says. “Consumers tend only to become interested in purchasing proven technologies when they are packaged into desirable product solutions. Tesla has proven that being green and environmentally responsible does not have to limit an individual’s aspiration for desirable product solutions.”

Priced at US$69 900, before a US$7500 federal tax credit, Swales comments: “Although the price point for this product is high, the company has an ambitious strategy to compete in the high-end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay for ‘premium’. At the same time, it has a long-term goal to reduce unit costs with each successive model, through economies of scale, thereby democratising the technology.”

Additionally, as an electric vehicle, the price tag is put into perspective when one factors in Tesla’s ‘solar carports’ in its SuperCharger network. With the appropriate connection, Teslas will charge for free, using emission-free, solar-generated electricity.

“We have 18 Supercharger stations in the US currently,” states Tesla. “By the end of the year, Model S owners will be able to travel from LA to NYC and Miami to Boston for free.”
But the good news is not for US drivers only, as international distribution is growing – Canadian deliveries started right after US deliveries last year and European deliveries began over the Northern Hemisphere summer. As of the end of Q2, 13 000 Model S vehicles had been delivered. Production of Model X will begin late 2014.

“It was fitting to give this award to the Tesla Model S in the hope that it will inspire not only the automotive industry, but all industries, to invest and develop environmentally sustainable product solutions that consumers want to own and truly enjoy using,” concludes Swales.

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