Tesla to Mitt Romney: Who's the Loser Now?

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Nov. 12 2012 7:51 PM

Tesla to Mitt Romney: Who's the Loser Now?

FT-Tesla2_photo
Tesla's Model S receives the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award

Photograph courtesy Tesla

At an event in New York City Monday evening, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that his company's Model S sedan has been named Motor Trend's Car of the Year. The all-electric sedan, which I reviewed for Slate earlier this year, was a unanimous choice, beating out the Porsche 911, the new Ford Fusion, and the Honda Accord, among others, said Motor Trend Editor in Chief Ed Loh. This is the first time in the award's 64-year history that it has gone to a car without an internal combustion engine. Loh said the award was based on the car's overall excellence, not simply the fact that it's electric. He pointed out to me that it's the fastest American-built sedan on the market, posting 0-60 times as low as 3.9 seconds. Add in its handling, ultra-quiet motor, and the fact that it requires no fuel, and Loh said it was an easy pick for the honor.

Musk was typically unrestrained at the news, predicting people will look back on it as "a point at which the gears of history moved." He said he hoped "that other car companies will in fact copy us and pursue their own electric car programs with greater vigor as a result of this award." Tesla's own next moves involve developing a more affordable model than the luxurious Model S, which starts at a hefty $57,400 for the base model before a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Advertisement

In an October presidential debate, Mitt Romney jeered that Tesla, Solyndra, and others were "losers" that had proven bad bets for loans from the Obama administration. Musk stayed silent then, but he couldn't resist a little gloating on Monday. Recalling Romney's remark that Tesla was a loser, he said, "In retrospect he was right about the object of that statement, but not the subject."

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
War Stories
Sept. 23 2014 4:04 PM The Right Target Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Stop Throwing Your Vegetable Trimmings Away
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 1:50 PM Oh, the Futility! Frogs Try to Catch Worms off of an iPhone Video.
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.