Sustainable Energy

Tesla Wires Half a Billion Dollars to the Government

Tesla Motors’ loan repayment is a bright spot for the DOE loan program.

May 22, 2013

Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted it would happen, and now it’s happened. Tesla, the electric car maker, has paid off the DOE loan that allowed it to build a factory and start building and selling its Model S electric car. And it’s done so nine years ahead of schedule, according to the company (see “Musk Says Tesla Will Pay Off Its Loans in Half the Time”).

To pay off the loan, it wired $451.8 million to the government today. The money comes from last week’s stock and convertible senior notes offering of $1 billion, which in turn came after the company’s stock had shot up in response to the announcement that it was profitable for the first time ever last quarter and after Consumer Reports said that the car was the best the organization had ever tested.

The news is a bright spot for the DOE’s loan programs, which had been criticized after some of the loan recipients, such as Solyndra, failed (see “Why It’s Okay That Tesla Makes Cars for Rich People”).