Tesla’s Model S set to bring electric vehicles into the mainstream

Tesla, a US state-supported electric car manufacturer, published dazzling first-quarter financial results for 2013, suggesting the era of the plug-in car may have arrived in earnest.

With almost 5,000 delivered worldwide, the Silicon Valley company’s Tesla Model S luxury electric sedan outsold the German top-three, the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S Class. One of few cars designed specifically as an electric vehicle, the 2012 Model S was named Car of the Year by two major American motoring magazines while Consumer Report pronounced it the best car they had ever tested.

Electric car and electric vehicle component manufacturer Tesla Motors announced a 5m profit for the period, its first in ten years of trading. Revenue increased by an impressive $562m and its gross margin rose nine per cent to 17 per cent, outperforming both Toyota and General Motors.

The Californian company is owned by PayPal founder and transport innovator Elon Musk, whose SpaceX company produced the first commercial capsule ever to dock with the International Space Station. He recently launched the first Supercharger car charging station in the US.

The company used a $465m