The all-time undisputed electric vehicle champion of the world, the Tesla Model S [Video]

It's hard to overstate the importance that Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA] has had with the introduction of its Model S sedan. Although electric vehicles have been around for more than a century, it wasn't until the Model S launched in 2012 that electric cars really began to take off. Yes, the Tesla Roadster started the company's buzz earlier but its production run was capped at well under 2,000 vehicles worldwide. Regardless, Tesla CEO Elon Musk should be given credit for starting a rEVolution that can't be stopped.

Image: Car and Driver / BBC

According to Jalopnik, "electric vehicles may be the future. But despite growing interest today, the concept of electric vehicles is just a resuscitation of a long-dormant method of commuting—one that first materialized in the 1800s... [and] in 1911, the New York Times even called existing electric vehicles 'ideal.' But, by 1935, electric cars were nearly nonexistent. It took decades for that to change." Fast forward to 1996 and the short-lived GM EV1 once again captured the public's imagination. A decade later, "Tesla Motors came around... in 2006, and the market for electric cars is so large now... [that] the future looks bright."

Source: Tesla

But there are still those naysayers who doubt the future of the electric vehicle. Heck, just this summer, there was The Electric Car — Fad or Future? exhibit at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, CA. The popular exhibit featured unusual electric vehicles from the 60s and 70s as well as more modern electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. Needless to say the Model S was highlighted as the industry's best-in-class during the exhibit. They even had a rare Model S convertible (see below) on display. And no... electric cars are not a fad, Tesla has triumphed in order to make the electric car, finally, real.

Source: Automobile Driving Museum

So can we really crown the Tesla Model S all-time, worldwide EV champion throughout the history of time? Yes. For now. Once the Tesla Model 3 comes along, it might be game over. But until then, InsideEVs reports: "Formula E released a video on eight electric cars they feel were way ahead of their time... [and] the highly successful Tesla Model S is top on the list." Check out their fascinating video below to see the electric cars that tried to make a mark throughout history, but, never really broke through... until the game changing Tesla Model S.

Source: FIA Formula E Championship

So who made this vaunted list?

  • 8. La Jamais Contente
  • 7. Henney Kilowatt
  • 6. L’oeuf Électrique
  • 5. Lunar Roving Vehicle (moon buggy)
  • 4. Electric Milk Float
  • 3. AMC Amitron/AMC Electron
  • 2. General Motors GM EV1
  • 1. Tesla Model S

Okay, I really think the Tesla Roadster and groundbreaking tzero should've made this list. And, yes... I grudgingly admit that the Nissan Leaf deserves a spot on the list too. But, before long, the Tesla Model 3 will surely take the mantle from the Model S. With ~400,000 pre-orders for the Model 3, it'll be hard to argue that its not the most important electric car in history. And, hopefully, it will spark other automakers to finally step up their game and enter this heated contest. Until then, Tesla Motors will continue to own the automotive future.