Tesla to Pay Back The American People Early

10-year, $465 Million Federal DoE Loan to be Paid in Five Years

March 11, 2013

Back in the months lead­ing up to the gen­eral elec­tion there was a lot of hand wring­ing about whether public/​private part­ner­ships in the renew­ables sec­tor made sense.  Failed solar com­pany Solyn­dra became a polit­i­cal light­en­ing rod with Repub­li­cans point­ing to the company’s flame out as proof the gov­ern­ment shouldn’t pro­vide the kind of help to com­pa­nies nor­mally reserved for pri­vate investment.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief exec­u­tive says his com­pany plans to pay back an Energy Depart­ment loan in half the time required by the gov­ern­ment, and it’s only right to give the DoE pro­gram pos­i­tive atten­tion when it suc­ceeds.  See orig­i­nal arti­cle in The Seat­tle Times here

via MATTHEW DALY, Asso­ci­ated Press

The chief exec­u­tive of elec­tric car maker Tesla Motors says his com­pany plans to pay back an Energy Depart­ment loan in half the time required by the government.

Thanks for the Help!

Thanks for the Help!

CEO Elon Musk said Tesla plans to pay off the $465 mil­lion fed­eral loan in five years, rather than 10 years. Musk made the com­ment Tues­day at a sum­mit on energy inno­va­tion, where he appeared on stage with Energy Sec­re­tary Steven Chu and defended the Obama administration’s clean energy program.

Not­ing the firestorm of crit­i­cism aimed at the Energy Depart­ment after the bank­ruptcy of solar com­pany Solyn­dra, which received a $528 mil­lion fed­eral loan, Musk said it was only fair that the admin­is­tra­tion wins praise for suc­cess sto­ries such as Tesla. He said the com­pany is on course to earn a small profit this quarter.

In his appear­ance at the ARPA-​​E sum­mit, Musk also said the Palo Alto, Calif., com­pany lost as much as $100 mil­lion in mar­ket val­u­a­tion as a result of a pub­lic spat with The New York Times fol­low­ing a neg­a­tive review of its all-​​electric Model S car.

Musk accused the news­pa­per of fak­ing results of an East Coast road test and traded shots with the paper and its reporter for more than a week on Twit­ter and in blogs. The Times said the test was an hon­est account of what hap­pened on the drive.

Tesla received a DOE loan in 2010 under a pro­gram sim­i­lar to the one that ben­e­fit­ted Solyn­dra. The first pay­ment was due late last year, with final pay­ment in 2022. A com­pany spokes­woman said Tesla hopes to pay off the loan by 2017.

The com­pany made its first pay­ment of nearly $13 mil­lion in Decem­ber. A sec­ond pay­ment is due in March.