These have proven to be some interesting times for Tesla Motors. During the past few months, the world's highest-profile manufacturer of high-performance electric vehicles has replaced several of its key executive personnel, faced off against various production and cost-cutting issues, and even presented arguments for why it, too, should be eligible for supplemental federal funding. On the brighter side, the San Carlos, California-based automaker just established a new benchmark in its short but eventful corporate history by delivering the 100th Roadster to roll off of its assembly line. As a minor historical footnote, that $109,000 high-performance EV was purchased by Sam Perry, a business consultant from Silicon Valley and the same man who had provided Oprah Winfrey with a convenient shoulder to lean on as the two stood in Chicago's Grant Park listening to Barak Obama's election-night acceptance speech.
In a related development, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg News that unless his privately-held firm received a $350 million loan from the federal government it would have to delay opening its new $250-million manufacturing facility in nearby San Jose until the conventional credit markets finally got back into a normal lending mode. The remainder of that supplemental cash injection would go towards the timely completion of development on its upcoming S-model, a more affordable electric sedan which is now set for go on sale in 2011 for $57,499. Beyond this vehicle-directed capital, Musk indicated that Tesla also is asking for another $100 million in loans to help underwrite expansion of its drivetrain program plus $200 million that would be used to construct a dedicated battery-production facility.