NEW YORK, New York, March 29, 2013 (ENS) – The Tesla Model S was named the 2013 World Green Car Thursday at a press conference hosted by the World Car Awards at the New York International Auto Show.

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Tesla Vice-President of Communications Sarah Meron, left, and Jens Meiners, director of the World Car Steering Committee after the Tesla Model S was named World Green Car of the Year, March 28, 2013. (Photo by Michelle Siu / World Car Awards)

A jury of 66 motoring journalists from 23 countries chose the Tesla and, calling it the “car for everyone,” they selected the Volkswagen Golf as the 2013 World Car of the Year.

The Tesla Model S was chosen as the 2013 World Green Car from an initial entry list of 21 new vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of 10, then three finalists: the Tesla Model S, the Renault Zoe and the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid.

“The success of Model S is a critical step towards the widespread adoption of sustainable transport and we are grateful to the World Car of the Year Jury for the recognition,” said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO. “Winning the 2013 World Green Car award is great acknowledgment of what Tesla has accomplished with Model S in the last four years.”

The World Green Car award is presented by Bridgestone Corporation of Japan. To be eligible for the award, a vehicle had to be all-new, or substantially revised, in production and introduced for sale or lease to the public in quantities of at least 10 in at least one major market during the period January 1, 2012 to May 30th, 2013.

Tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of a major advanced power plant technology, aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle’s environmental responsibility, were all taken into consideration in determining the winner.

Due to the complexity of some of the ‘green’ technologies, five specialized experts were appointed by the World Car Awards Steering Committee to review all documentation and specs associated with each candidate. They were asked to create a short-list of finalists for review by the 66 jurors in their second round of voting in February. Their ballots were then tabulated by the international accounting firm KPMG.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S (Photo by jujutavu)

The panel commented that, “The Tesla Model S has wowed the world’s press, and for good reason. It’s a car from a startup maker that actually competes on its merits with vehicles from established global players. The Model S is fast and stylish, its high-end models offer more range than any other electric car, and thus far, it appears to be well-built and selling well. Now that it’s in volume production, it can be argued that it is already the world’s most alluring green car that’s also practical and desirable.”

“There have only been two pure electric cars with a sensible range, and both have been made by Tesla,” the jury remarked. “Its Roadster would go at least 180 miles and the Model S a lot further than that. It also seats up to seven, is almost supercar swift, swoopily styled and recharge time apart and absurd width apart as practical as a family sedan. It’s not cheap, but certainly isn’t expensive for what it does.”

Volkswagen, too, is moving to give eco-conscious drivers the kind of cars they will want.

As he accepted the World Car of the Year award, VW’s Chairman of the Board said the Golf will soon be made as a plug-in hybrid and as a battery electric car.

“We at Volkswagen are all delighted that the Golf has been named World Car of the Year,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.

The Golf has won four World Car of the Year overall titles in five years and it is still on a winning streak. Just three weeks ago  the compact car took European Car of the Year.

“To win this award again shows that the Golf is and remains in a class of its own all around the world,” Winterkorn said. “This car sets new benchmarks again and again, not least in terms of efficiency and environmental credentials. Soon, for instance, the Golf will also be launched as a plug-in hybrid and as a 100% electric car.”

Giving their reasons for the Car of the Year choice, the jury said, “The Golf is just the right size – it’s spacious, practical and comfortable. It has got a fresh, progressive design, a new range of engines, plus an impressive list of equipment and safety systems. If there is a car for everyone, the Golf is it.”

The Golf is now sold in nearly 200 markets, but the North American debut is on hold as Volkswagen transfers production from Germany to a plant in Mexico. The award-winning seventh-generation Golf will go on sale in North American as a 2015 model. It will be built at Volkswagen’s factory in Puebla, Mexico.

Also at the press conference a study conducted by Prime Research was released showing that downsizing and improved internal combustion engines are the top trend for 2014 and beyond. Lightweight technology is on the rise.

Enthusiasm about the fully battery-electric vehicle is “further waning,” the Prime Research study found, while plug-in hybrid technology was seen as the most promising alternative powertrain technology.

And safety-related driver assistance systems are a key topic, while skepticism prevails towards fully autonomous driving.

“While connectivity and efficiency remain the most important topics for the top global motor journalists, e-mobility has dropped from third rank to number six out of ten in less than a year,” said Dr. Rainer Mathes, president of Prime Research, which conducted the study in conjunction with the World Car Awards.
“The third position is now occupied by hybrid technology, previously ranked fourth,” he added.

Mathes also noted that light-weight technology, which was considered of least performance in last year’s survey, has moved upwards from tenth to fifth rank – a clear sign of its growing significance.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2013. All rights reserved.

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