Read time: 2 minutes

Car Maker Tesla Repays Federal Startup Loan - 9 Years Early

Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors repaid its own $456 million loan in full last Wednesday, nine years early.

The electric car company whose name Republicans used as synonymous with government waste just repaid its government startup loan in full nine years ahead of schedule. Oh dear, what will Paul Ryan whine about now?

Throughout the last election–most notably in the vice presidential debate–Paul Ryan rebuked President Obama for what he called “$90 billion of green pork to campaign contributors and special interest groups.” Ryan was referring to the loans the federal government gave through the Department of Energy to pioneers of green tech like electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors, which repaid its own $456 million loan in full last Wednesday, nine years early.

“It turns out that if you give a bunch of intelligent innovators the seed money to conduct innovative research, the innovators will sometimes successfully innovate,” said MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on the Rewrite Thursday.

Tesla is riding a meteoric rise in stock value. Company shares have more than tripled in price since the first of the year, gaining 14% on Tuesday alone to close at $110.33. CEO Elon Musk (also the owner of SpaceX, a private space transport company) has used profits from the surge to pay off the U.S. Energy Department’s loan, in part by buying $100 million of the stock himself.

Tesla’s first available sedan is the Model S, a sleek all-electric vehicle capable of going 265 miles on a single charge, the greatest range of any electric car on the market. It has a base price of $69,000 and the first run of 21,000 units sold out almost immediately. On Wednesday, the company announced that it will increase its number of supercharger stations from 8 to 25 by the middle of summer, allowing drivers to travel the full distance from New York City to Los Angeles.

Despite Tesla’s success, some Republicans seem intent on focusing on the federal government’s less profitable investments. “When they’re picking all these losers, it’s nice for them to have one where they can point to,” Representative Jim Jordan said.

“Essentially, then, the Republican argument against clean-energy loan programs is: ‘If any of the investments fail, then the entire program is a failure.’” O’Donnell said, adding: “To the investor out there who has never made a losing investment, I salute you and implore you to let me, the government and the whole rest of the world in on your secrets.”

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $20 for 2020? Please consider a one time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage

Comments

NOTE: We will be changing to a new commenting platform in the next couple of weeks. We will supply more details as we get closer to the change. We understand some users are having problems with comments loading and this will hopefully remedy that problem

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.