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Tesla first EV automaker to fully repay all government loans

By Bob Nagy on May 24, 2013 10:15 AM
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Tesla Motors has announced that it has fully paid off the last of its outstanding debt to the Department of Energy. The final transfer of $451.8 million closes the books nine years ahead of schedule on a $465 million loan made in 2010 as part of the DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. According to Tesla's Chief Executive Officer and cofounder, Elon Musk, the early repayment was made possible by using part of nearly $1 billion in new funding the company raised last week though the sale of common stock and convertible senior notes.

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In stark contrast to a number of other fledgling EV makers - notably CODA and Fisker -- that have recently floundered, Tesla Motors has been on a roll of late. In addition to universal accolades for its latest offering, the Model S sedan, and the new Model X SUV in the works, the California-based firm supplies electric-drive components of its own design to both Toyota and Daimler. Established in 2003, it has delivered over 10,000 Tesla Roadster and Model S vehicles to buyers in 31 countries.

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While Musk can be rightly proud of his company's track record, he did apparently overstate the case on one point by claiming that Tesla was "the only American car company to have fully repaid the government." Chrysler Group LLC Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications, Gualberto Ranieri, was quick to point out that claim only holds true on the electric side of the loan ledger. "The information is unmistakably incorrect. It's pretty well-known that almost exactly two years ago - May 24, 2011 - Chrysler Group LLC repaid (in full and with interest) U.S. and Canadian government loans more than six years ahead of schedule."

 

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