Tesla Receives $465 Million in Loans from US DOE ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Tesla Receives $465 Million in Loans from US DOE

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tesla Receives $465 Million in Loans from US DOE

Tesla was approved for low-interest loans from the Dept of Energy to accelerate the production of their affordable, fuel efficient electric vehicles. The loan is part of $24 billion program called the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVMLP).

Ford and Nissan are also receiving loans in the first round of approvals.  GM and Chrysler were excluded early on because of questions about their viability.

$365 Million on Assembly of Model S
Tesla will use $365 million for production engineering and assembly of the Model S, an all-electric family sedan that carries seven people and travels up to 300 miles per charge.

The Model S, according to Tesla, will have a base price in the mid $50K range, although Tesla expects most consumers will pay only $49,900 after a $7,500 US federal tax credit. They expect production to begin in late 2011. The assembly plant will employ about 1,000 workers.

$100 Million on Powertrain Manufacturing Plant in California
The other $100 million will be used in a powertrain manufacturing plant, which will employ about 650 people. The new plant is expected to be located in California, where Tesla is in the final stages of negotiation.

"Tesla will use the ATVM loan precisely the way that Congress intended -- as the capital needed to build sustainable transport," said Tesla CEO and Product Architect Elon Musk. "We are honored that the US government selected Tesla to be among the first companies to participate in this progressive program."

More on the Model S, Roadster, and new showrooms from Tesla press release:
The Model S sedan features exceptional performance, styling and utility, with unrivaled cargo and passenger space. Its floor-mounted powertrain is the culmination of a half-decade of engineering in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, where Tesla developed the Roadster.

The highly acclaimed Roadster is the first production battery electric vehicle to travel more than 200 miles per charge and the first US- and EU-certified Lithium-Ion battery electric vehicle. With an estimated range of 244 miles per charge and zero tailpipe emissions, it’s the first production vehicle to offer supercar performance with a clean conscience.

Tesla has never applied for federal funds for the Roadster, an American sports car that consumes no gasoline whatsoever. Tesla expects the Roadster business unit to be profitable in the third quarter. Privately held Tesla will finance sales and marketing for the Model S through private capital.

Tesla has delivered more than 500 Roadsters to customers. Later this month, Tesla will begin delivering its second-generation Roadster and Roadster Sport, an even higher-performance vehicle.

Teslas do not require routine oil changes or exhaust system work. They have far fewer moving (and breakable) parts than internal combustion engine vehicles. They qualify for federal and state tax credits, rebates, sales tax exemptions, free parking, commuter-lane passes and other perks. The Model S costs roughly $5 to drive 230 miles – a bargain even if gasoline were less than $1 per gallon.

The Model S, which carries its charger onboard, can be recharged from any conventional outlet. Three battery pack choices will offer a range of 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge. Tesla is taking reservations online and at its two showrooms in California.

Tesla will expand its network of showrooms this summer with stores in New York, Chicago, Seattle and Miami. Tesla will open its London showroom June 25, followed by Munich and Monaco. Additional stores will be opened in Washington DC and Toronto.

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