'Car of the Year' uses no gasoline

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Tesla Motors Chairman and CEO Elon Musk answers questions about the new Tesla Model S all-electric sedan (L), at the car's unveiling in Hawthorne, California on March 26, 2009. Musk said the state-of-the-art, five-seat sedan will be the world's first mass-produced, highway-capable electric car. The car has an anticipated base price of $57,400 but will cost less than $50,000 after a federal tax credit of $7,500. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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by ALISON KOSIK

CNN

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 3:48 PM

The auto industry is shifting gears. For first time ever, Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" is an all-electic car.

The Tesla Model S took the top prize.

The magazine started with 11 finalists, including Ford Fusion, Porsche 911, and Hyundai Azera.

In the end, the decision was unanimous.

Motor Trend said the Tesla Model S was one of the most efficient cars, with an electric capacity of 75 miles per gallon.

The luxury car can also go from zero to 60 mph in four seconds. But that's not all.

Thanks to its electric motor, the Model  S is quiet. And since there is no internal combustion engine, Tesla's vehicle has more space for passengers and cargo.

But it comes with a hefty price tag. The car retails for $50,000 to $100,000, depending on desired mileage. Basically, the farther you want to go on one charge, the more it will cost you.

And there is one big unknown: How this vehicle will perform in the long run.

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