Tesla secures $465 million fed loan to build Model S, powertrain plant

Tesla Motors, Inc., closed Thursday on a $465 million low-cost Energy Department loan to build a SoCal factory to produce their $50,000 Model S electric sedan and another facility to produce powertrains in Palo Alto. The Palo Alto factory will assemble battery packs, electric motors, and related equipment for Tesla”s own vehicles and to sell to other car makers.

“This is an investment in our clean energy future that will create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu, about the project that Tesla estimates will produce about 1,600 jobs.

With a range of up to 300 miles, the Model S uses no gasoline, and produces no tailpipe emissions. The production target for is 20,000 units by the end of 2013, with production starting in 2012. The original price is set for $62,500, but with the $7,500 federal tax credit, one can own one for a net cost of $50,000.

Company CEO Elon Musk said at the 2010 NAIAS that it will take approximately 24-30 months from groundbreaking until the first Model S rolls off the line.

The government is offering loans to multiple car companies across all different energy platforms; their aim is to promote a multi-pronged approach toward achieving fuel-efficiency. So far nearly $9 billion has been awarded under the program, and another $16 billion is available for award.

Tesla Model S:

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Detroit News