Tesla Motors fully repays $465 million federal loan nine years early

After the Solyndra debacle, Fremont was starting to become one of President Obama’s political liabilities and it would have only gotten worse if the Tesla Motors loan didn’t work out. Fortunately for all involved parties, Tesla — which is HQ’d in Palo Alto but does its manufacturing in Fremont — is the ‘anti-Solyndra.’

Read the story by Dana Hull:

In a boost for the Obama Administration and controversial federal cleantech programs, electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors (TSLA) announced Wednesday it paid back its $465 million government loan nine years early.

The U.S. Department of Energy oversees $34 billion in taxpayer-funded loans for 33 clean energy projects, and Tesla is the first American car company to pay back its loan. The DOE loans came under fierce criticism from Congressional Republicans in the wake of the high-profile 2011 bankruptcy of Fremont solar manufacturer Solyndra, with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney calling Tesla a “loser” in a presidential debate last fall.

“This is another important contribution to what the Obama Administration has done to preserve and promote America’s auto industry,” U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement Wednesday. “This announcement is also good news for the future of America’s growing electric vehicle industry.”

Moniz noted that sales of electric vehicles in the United States tripled last year and said “Tesla and other U.S. manufacturers are in a strong position to compete for this growing global market.

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Chris DeBenedetti


  1. I’ve suggested it before in this venue – Fremont/TESLA AEV World Comp’s – and now, TESLA has possibly acquired a very important venue for just such an idea.

    Our city is uniquely aligned with alternative energy thru TESLA. We should exploit this relationship and build on an obvious opportunity.


    Would love to see competition for various classes of alternative energy automobiles with competition taking place on the TESLA road course.

    And while we’re at it – how about hang gliding comps off of Mission Peak?

    Rowing and/or sailing on Quarry Lakes . . with some imagination the list could go on and on.

    We have a unique and highly visible corporate presence in this niche – with an ounce of sweat, planning and partnering – – we could easily leverage this into something of significance.

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