Skip to Content

Tesla Receives Key Funding for Electric Sedan

The future of the Model S depended on government loans, which have now been approved.
June 23, 2009

The plan at Tesla Motors has always been to go beyond its first vehicle, the $100,000 electric Roadster, to make more-affordable electric cars–a plan that had come to depend on the startup receiving a hefty loan from the government. Today, the Department of Energy announced that it has approved that loan–in the amount of $465 million. The money could allow Tesla to bring its Model S electric sedan to market, as planned, by 2011.

The company said in a statement that $100 million will be used to construct a manufacturing facility for the company’s electric power train (the battery, motor, and controls), which it plans to sell to other automakers. The rest will be used to engineer and build the Model S.

The base version of the Model S will sell for about $50,000. Tesla will offer three versions of the car with different ranges: 160, 230, or 300 miles. Even the smallest battery pack will give the vehicle more range than several planned electric cars from other manufacturers. Electric vehicles from Ford, Nissan, and Coda automotive, due out in the next couple of years, will have a range of about 100 miles.

Tesla has delivered about 500 of its Roadsters so far, and the company predicts that its Roadster division will be profitable this year.

The DOE loans are part of the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program, which was first signed into law in 2007 and appropriated last September. The DOE also announced today that it had approved a $5.9 billion loan for Ford, for developing advanced vehicles and retooling factories to make cars that use less gas. The DOE also approved a $1.6 billion loan for Nissan North America, which will be used to modify a factory in Smyrna, TN, to make electric vehicles and battery packs. Nissan plans to start selling an electric car in the United States next year, which will be made in Japan until the Smyrna plant is ready in 2012.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

The Steiner tree problem:  Connect a set of points with line segments of minimum total length.
The Steiner tree problem:  Connect a set of points with line segments of minimum total length.

The 50-year-old problem that eludes theoretical computer science

A solution to P vs NP could unlock countless computational problems—or keep them forever out of reach.

section of Rima Sharp captured by the LRO
section of Rima Sharp captured by the LRO

The moon didn’t die as early as we thought

Samples from China’s lunar lander could change everything we know about the moon’s volcanic record.

conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other
conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other

Forget dating apps: Here’s how the net’s newest matchmakers help you find love

Fed up with apps, people looking for romance are finding inspiration on Twitter, TikTok—and even email newsletters.

ASML machine
ASML machine

Inside the machine that saved Moore’s Law

The Dutch firm ASML spent $9 billion and 17 years developing a way to keep making denser computer chips.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.