This week is one of Tesla Motors’ best ever.  On Wednesday, the electric vehicle automaker posted the first quarterly profit in its 10-year history. During the first quarter of 2013, Tesla produced at least 400 Model S vehicles per week for a total of more than 5,000 for the quarter. 

In a shareholder letter (PDF) posted to the Tesla Motors website, the company announced:

  • Record sales of $562 million, an increase of 83 percent from the previous quarter
  • 4,900 vehicles delivered
  • Gross margin doubled to 17 percent
  • Global demand is currently at more than 20,000 per year and is expected to top 30,000 annually
Tesla is expanding its service center network to meet this increased demand. In the first quarter alone, Tesla opened 12 new service centers and now operates 41 global service facilities. Additionally, Tesla plans to add 15 new store and gallery locations by the end of the year.

The news only got better for Tesla today. The Tesla Model S, which was named Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year, received 99 out of 100 possible points during a Consumer Reports test drive. This is the highest score that Consumer Reports has ever given any vehicle, much less an advanced technology, all-electric vehicle like the Model S.

“The Tesla rivets your attention from the start. Simply touching the flush aluminum door handles causes them to slide outward, welcoming you inside. With the car-shaped fob in your pocket or purse, a tap of the brake pedal brings the Model S to life. There’s no need to insert a key or press a button. You’re immediately greeted by the glow of a huge 17-inch video display that dominates the center of the dash and allows you to control everything, such as adjusting the suspension’s ride height and setting up a new Slacker Radio channel. And as you dip into the throttle, you experience a silent yet potent surge of power that will make many sports cars weep with envy.”  Source: Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports didn’t just praise the vehicle for its high-tech luxury offerings; it looks like staffers had a little fun behind the wheel. Pushing the vehicle beyond a typical highway drive situation, the Consumer Reports driver got sideways with the Model S. (That’s drifting for those of you unfamiliar with the automotive term!)

After seeing stories about Fisker’s imminent failure dominate the electric vehicle news cycle for a few weeks, it is great to see the EV industry receive some much-needed praise and recognition.

Related on MNN: Behind-the-scenes interview with Tesla CEO Elon Musk