Tesla Motors is probably most notable
for its sexy
all-electric Roadster. The $100,000+ sports car, which is based
on the Lotus Elise chassis, has a driving range of 244 miles – one
Tesla Roadster, however, was able to travel
313 miles on a single charge -- and can zip to 60 mph in less
than four seconds. However, Tesla is looking to take its electric
car-building prowess to a somewhat more mainstream audience with its
four-door Model S electric sedan.
This is where the federal government
steps in to work its magic. According
to the Detroit News, Tesla Motors today closed on a
deal to secure $465 million in low-cost loans from the Energy
Department. The funds will be used to build manufacturing plants in
California for the Model S and its powertrain.
The company was originally approved
for the loan back in June of 2009. The $465 million will come
from the Advanced
Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program which is providing a
total of $25 billion to automakers that develop new fuel efficient
vehicles. Other notable names to get in on the loans include Nissan
($1.6 billion) and Ford ($5.9 billion).
"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.
"It will help build a customer
base and begin laying the foundation for American leadership in the
growing electric vehicles industry. This is part of a sustained
effort to develop and commercialize technologies that will be broadly
deployed throughout the American auto industry."
As previously reported by DailyTech,
the Model S will have a driving
range of up to 300 miles and can dash to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.
The fetching sedan weighs in at a portly 4,000 pounds (1,200 pounds of
which comes from its lithium-ion battery pack). If all goes according
to plan, the base Model S will cost around $50,000 after a
government-backed $7,500 tax credit is taken into consideration. For
comparison, the Chevrolet Volt is expected to cost
in the “low 30s” after the $7,500 tax credit is applied. At
that price point, GM still contends that it can make a profit.
The Model S is scheduled to go into
production in 2012 and yearly output is pegged at 20,000 units per
quote: Again, this is a loan, not give away money... Banks do that and are profitable (at least some are... lol), why can't the government do the same. Even if they're not profiting directly, the outcome might be good for th economy. And just because their cars are not going to be mainstreamed it doesn't mean the technology developed by them won't.