Shares of Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA ) surged nearly 4% after hours last night on news that Motor Trend magazine has granted the fully electric sedan its highest honor: Car of the Year for 2013. Prior winners include Ford Motor's (NYSE: F ) Mustang II in 1974 and Toyota's (NYSE: TM ) Prius in 2004. The full list dates to 1949, when Motor Trend honored Cadillac's entire Motor Car division.
Motor Trend gushed about the Tesla Model S: "It drives like a sports car, eager and agile and instantly responsive. But it's also as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce, can carry almost as much stuff as a Chevy Equinox, and is more efficient than a Toyota Prius. Oh, and it'll sashay up to the valet at a luxury hotel like a supermodel working a Paris catwalk."
In a Tesla press release, CEO and co-founder Elon Musk said: "Our aspiration with the Model S was to show that an electric car truly can be better than any gasoline car, which is a critical step toward the widespread adoption of sustainable transport." Musk's other attempts to boost widespread adoption of Tesla vehicles includes announcing plans for a national network of electric charging stations.