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Published on December 26th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Why Tesla Is The Highest-Trending Car Company On Google — 7 Reasons

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December 26th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan 

tesla model x back

Tesla Motors has one car model on the market (or two if you count the fact that you can preorder the Model X). This next model isn’t projected to be delivered to its first customers until the end of 2014. Yet, the Silicon Valley car company was the highest trending car company on Google in 2013. Why?

With nearly 200 articles published on CleanTechnica this year that mention Tesla, I hope I can provide a little bit of insight on why this one- or two-car company is so popular. In reverse order, here are seven reasons that come to mind:

7. Tesla decided to pay its DOE loan off in 2013… 9 years early.

Defying conservative attacks on DOE loan programs for cleantech, Tesla decided to shock Fox News (and others) by paying its DOE loan off 9 years early. That was certainly one of the stories that helped to stimulate #2 on this list and helped to propel Tesla high up the Google Trends ranking.

6. Tesla earned its first quarterly profit in 2013.

Another story that got Tesla on more people’s eyes and helped to stimulate #2 below was the company achieving its first quarterly profit in Q1 2013… and then again in Q2 and Q3, btw.

5. Tesla Model E announcements keep coming.

Tesla is best known for the Tesla Model S. However, the Tesla Model E may bring even much more attention and value to the Tesla brand. This vehicle will reportedly be half the price of the Tesla Model S, will have a range of at least 200 miles, will have excellent performance, and will be released by 2017. While Tesla hasn’t officially labeled this car the Model E yet, it has trademarked that name, and there’s speculation that the E could stand for economical, efficient, or everyone. The car is a big one on many people’s minds, a key landmark in the explosion of the electric vehicle market. It comes up repeatedly on press calls with Tesla, and Elon consistently says that it will be released by 2017 and will indeed meet those key stats.

4. The New York Times story that crashed Tesla’s stock (temporarily).

New York Times reporter John Brody ran the Model S battery down to 0 on long a test drive in January, making what seemed to be some rather sketchy decisions along the way. That resulted in massive media attention, order cancellations, as well as a loss of about $100 million if you include the effect on the stock price.

Elon Musk On Tesla’s Role In History, SolarCity, And Our Cleantech Future (VIDEO)

3. Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the CEO and Chief Product Architect of Tesla Motors, is a business/science/technology icon. Many consider him to be something like a Thomas Edison (or Nikola Tesla) of our time. Aside from running Tesla, he’s also CEO & CTO of SpaceX and SolarCity’s Chairman. The man tweets, makes big public statements, responds at length to big stories about the company (like the New York Times one noted above), and is often in the headlines for one big announcement or another. TIME Magazine named Elon one of the world’s 100 most influential people this year. Elon has put a face on Tesla, and quite a noteworthy one, which does wonders for the Tesla brand.

2. Tesla (TSLA) was one of the top stock stories of the year.

Tesla’s stock started out the year rather low ($35.36), and heavily shorted. On the back of several big announcements, the stock rose and rose and rose, hitting some pretty amazing heights. Tesla’s total value on the stock market actually reached as high 25% of GM’s in May. That’s when the stock was price was up to $104. It eventually rose to $194.50 (at the end of September) before falling back down a bit. Even Elon Musk seemed to admit in a video interview back in August (when Tesla was worth about 42% of GM) that Tesla stock was overvalued.


1. The Tesla Model S is widely considered the best car on the market.

Creating a car that’s one league above the rest is sure to get you some attention.

The Model S got Consumer Reports‘ best rating ever (99/100), won the 2013 Automobile Magazine Car of the Year award, won the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year award, won the 2013 Green Car of the Year award, and won a bunch of other awards. It’s a clean, efficient, comfortable car with super high performance.

Image Credit: Tesla

There were many more Tesla stories this year that got people’s attention, and other reasons why so many people are search for news on Tesla, but I think those are the top reasons Tesla ranks at the top of car company searches.

Check out all the hottest Tesla and electric car news here on CleanTechnica. And for the truly obsessed: EV newsletter.

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • http://www.tgikent.com/ Kent Roberts

    Elon Musk, in the end, is trying to sell cars. He shoots rockets into space (SpaceX). He’s not a hippie. And hey, he made his money basically running a bank, PayPal. This report makes it clear (I think) that Musk’s response was a CYA hit-job. A billionaire tycoon is more likely deceptive than is a journalist at one of the only large papers in the US that is still strong & printing real news (see the film Page One). Broder response – http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/that-tesla-data-what-it-says-and-what-it-doesnt/?_r=0

    • Bob_Wallace

      Oh come on. Broder intentionally failed to follow the agreed on plan for making the trip. He failed to fully charge when that was the plan. He deviated from the route, adding extra miles.

      And then he lied about what he did.

      The NYT is one of the best papers in the world, but it is far from perfect. They publish some real crap on climate science.

      • http://www.tgikent.com/ Kent Roberts

        “Broder intentionally failed to follow the agreed on plan for making the trip.” Is he convicted w/o a trial? Did you read this? Don’t just take Musk’s word for it. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/that-tesla-data-what-it-says-and-what-it-doesnt/?_r=0

        • Bob_Wallace

          I read it when it was published, Kent.

          Since Broder lied in his first piece should we be surprised if he lied in a cover his ass piece he wrote after being exposed?

          Have you read Tesla’s rebuttal to Broder’s original article? About how the data recorder shows he was exceeding the speed limit and had the heater on full blast when he claimed he didn’t?

          This is old news, Kent.

          • http://www.tgikent.com/ Kent Roberts

            Yes, Bob, I did read Broder’s piece, and I don’t see how it lied. I still think you’re trusting Tesla’s response and data analysis from its billionaire founder (and I do think the “billionaire” aspect is relevant re: likelihood of personal integrity), which is basically a press release from a money-motivated individual, more than you are a report from a credible news source. Tesla Model S: incredible car, great for green tech movement, but it’s fetishized .. it’s not easy to see the picture clearly.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Well, I’m sort of a scientist type. When the data shows that the driver was speeding, driving off course, driving in circles and had the heater going full blast when he said it was off, well, I pretty much come to the conclusion that the driver was lying.

            You think Musk a liar even though he presents the data to back up his side. You’re entitled to your opinion.

          • http://www.tgikent.com/ Kent Roberts

            Dude .. Corporate data from Tesla’s computers is not a good scientific source.

          • A Real Libertarian

            It’s an excellent scientific source.

            An oil industry hacks lies however, isn’t.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Dude, turn off your dope module.

            Black box data is black box data.

  • Tom G.

    Yesterday driving home to Arizona from California I saw my first Tesla Model S in the wild. It was driving East on Interstate 10 and appeared to be a semi-transparent pearl white color. It was such an elegant looking vehicles everything else around it seemed second rate. It just stood out from the crowd with its smooth aerodynamic shape and uncluttered styling. It was such a refreshing departure from the square steel boxes we have been driving for 50 years.

    It is now very clear to me why these vehicles are in demand and the company is doing well financially.

  • John

    Broder (not Brody) Zachary! ;)

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