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.