Tesla becomes fifth-best automaker for U.S. consumers

Already a hit with geeks and technology moguls, electric car manufacturer Tesla reached a new milestone on Wednesday: finally penetrating the mainstream consciousness, according to a new survey from Consumer Reports.

Tesla, the company created by SpaceX founder Elon Musk (pictured above), now ranks at number five on Consumer Reports’ Car-Brand Perception Survey, just behind traditional automakers such as Chevrolet, Honda, Ford and Toyota, which snagged the number one slot.

See also: 5 Surprises You’ll Find in a Tesla Model S

This jump up to fifth place is a huge leap for the company, which was ranked way back in tenth place in 2013. Consumer Reports’ survey polled 1,578 U.S. car owners in the U.S. in December, focusing on getting the respondents to list their top car brands in terms of performance, value, safety, quality, design and technology.

But for electric car skeptics, the most surprising news will be that the survey also asked respondents to list their top choices in terms of fuel economy. The fact that Tesla is now ahead of the likes of Volvo, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac in the overall rankings indicates a serious change in the public’s perception of electric-powered cars as a viable means of transport.

The shift in how the U.S. public perceives Tesla is no small issue. Around this time last year, following a poor review of the Tesla Model S in the New York Times, Musk speculated that the negative review may have cost the company around $100 million.

Of course, this limited survey won’t necessarily result in an automatic uptick in new orders for the company. For that to happen, the company will likely need to conduct a few more demonstrations showing off how the electric car can travel from coast to coast.

Congratulations to John and Jill, first to drive across US using only free @TeslaMotors Superchargers! pic.twitter.com/hA6YlkyjzN

— PlugShare (@plugshare) January 26, 2014

Nevertheless, the survey’s results do indicate that the company is finally getting through to mainstream consumers who have been, up until now, hesitant to adopt electric cars.

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This article originally appeared on Mashable .