Print 78 comment(s) - last by fasfdhfd0000.. on Jan 29 at 4:04 PM

Tesla Model S  (Source: Tesla Motors)
Let the money flow...

The federal government seems to be quite happy with dishing out money for environmentally friendly ventures, and there are plenty of companies that are willing to take the funds and put them to good use. One such company is Tesla Motors.

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 year.

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RE: clue me in on this...
By TheWise on 1/21/2010 10:44:11 PM , Rating: -1
Actually many countries do give foreign aid, and amongst those that do the US is the cheapest out there. As a portion of GDP the US gives less than any other country in the OECD.

you will need to dig a bit but look under: Public Finance > Support and Aid > Official development assistance and click the comparison with other countries link.

Whilst as individual people many, potentially even most, Americans could be very generous (there are no figures I found) your government is not even remotely in the race.

Sorry to burst anyones bubble.

RE: clue me in on this...
By SandmanWN on 1/21/2010 10:56:08 PM , Rating: 5
Nice cheap shot there. But you aren't pulling a fast one on anybody here. Anyone with a conscience and a decent amount of humility knows the biggest giver in the US is not the government but the people themselves.

The people work through non-profit organizations and local outreaches that go into areas of the world that no government will dare. They are there doing the hard work before, during, and long after any government worker sets foot on the ground.

You aren't Wise, just another Fool with a chip on his shoulder because he doesn't do enough and feels justified in explaining why its ok.

RE: clue me in on this...
By cocoman on 1/22/2010 10:11:38 AM , Rating: 2
I don´t doubt the US is a big player in humanitarian aid. But it is not in the top 10. The report I link includes private aid and government aid. Also the Us is the biggest donor by amount of money, but not per capita or GDP. So if you sum up all the european countries the us falls behind. Or just look at Japan or the UK a fraction the size of the US and its population.

RE: clue me in on this...
By yomamafor1 on 1/22/2010 11:27:42 AM , Rating: 2
Right. How about let's compare the United States against the rest of the world combined? That's gotta be a more accurate method to show how Americans are indeed cheapos! Who cares if they do give the most foreign aid in the world? The only method people use are the aid per capita and aid per GDP!

RE: clue me in on this...
By cocoman on 1/22/2010 1:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly my point. If you read more carefully that is exactly what I am saying. So read again.
If you don't want to, here it is again:
The US is the biggest donor but not per capita or per GDP. Per capita or GDP is around number 20!

RE: clue me in on this...
By SandmanWN on 1/22/2010 3:42:09 PM , Rating: 3
You can shine that turd of an argument up all you want but its still pitiful at best.

The people of the US are always wary of the government. We often resort to other means of support. Every analysis of the public giving in the US shows it far outdoes anything the government gives.

Which is the real shame as the US government gives more than any country on the planet and the people here give more outside the government, so where does that leave your country? After the people of the US, after the government of the US... I guess shooting for third place is good enough for you.

RE: clue me in on this...
By SandmanWN on 1/22/2010 4:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
The report I link includes private aid and government aid.

Uhm, No it doesn't. And that is pretty much a bold faced lie.

The estimates, and they are estimates, based on what's actually reported to the IRS and the analysis of a number of groups put the public charitable giving of the US people at over 300 Billion.

RE: clue me in on this...
By shin0bi272 on 1/21/2010 11:16:01 PM , Rating: 3
While Sandman above is correct I'd like to point out that the 12.9Billion dollars we gave in 2003-4 was the most of any country in the world. Just because other countries are trying to keep up with us (Japan came in at 9.2 and hey look they are the worlds second largest economy :-O ).

The point is the US gives the most in dollars every year even if its not the greatest in percent gdp... that just means our economy is that much better than all the others because we can give less of a percentage (meaning it hurts our wallets less) and still give more than any other country in terms of actual dollars.

And to answer the DT mod's comment above no we shouldnt give GOVERNMENT money to other countries. Private donations are fine but do not take my hard earned cash and give it to some dude in a country where the actual starving people there wont ever see a dime of it (can you tell Ive played farcry 2 a few times?). If people wanna donate to sally struthers or who ever thats their decision. Just waste my tax dollars on home grown programs.... Hey look here's a story on one! LOL

RE: clue me in on this...
By Strunf on 1/22/2010 8:30:25 AM , Rating: 2
The point is the US gives the most in dollars every year even if its not the greatest in percent gdp... that just means our economy is that much better than all the others because we can give less of a percentage (meaning it hurts our wallets less) and still give more than any other country in terms of actual dollars.

lol what logic is that? if you give less % of your GDP it can only mean you either can't afford to give more or you don't want to, others give more in % cause they can and want to. But seriously you would expect that a country with 1/4 the US population to pay as much as the US? ...

RE: clue me in on this...
By SandmanWN on 1/21/2010 11:49:24 PM , Rating: 3
You know it irks me that trolls like Wise@ss here gets off on saying stupid stuff like this. I've been sitting here now for 6 hours after my work day has ended to facilitate a relief effort bound for Haiti.

One of the loathed and hated millionaires of this country is flying in tonight on a private charter. He's stopping by our warehouse to pick up a C-Arm that he's buying out of his own pocket to take with him to Haiti along with a group of medical staff.

This act won't be reported by any governmental statistical load of crap this idiot Wise@ss will ever be able to point to in the future and mock someone else on, but it happened nonetheless. I'm here doing my part to save someones life while this guy trolls forums to get his jollies and stroke his ego for the night.

RE: clue me in on this...
By TheWise on 1/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: clue me in on this...
By Targon on 1/22/2010 8:22:48 AM , Rating: 2
And, the problem people have with the US government right now is that the national debt keeps growing due to not bringing in enough tax revenue to cover what is being spent. Basically, the US government is in debt, and has NO business spending taxpayer money until they have paid off the debt and actually makes a profit.

I am all for donating to charity if you have money to spend, but when your debts are greater than your income, and there is no sign of having a year where there is a net profit for decades to come, then you should NOT be spending money on charity. The government should operate the same way, where until there is a budget surplus for more than one year, the money being spent on 'charity' and good will programs just shouldn't be spent at all. Let the PEOPLE who have money spend on charity. Or let the government have an official charity department that will accept donations for this or that cause, and distribute it in the name of the 'American people' or something.

You don't feel that those on welfare should be buying flat panel TVs and other electronic toys, do you? How would you feel if people on welfare were getting more nice things than those working their butts off just to pay their rent and avoid being thrown out into the street? If that doesn't seem right to you, then why do you support the US government spending money right now?

Now, on the subject at hand...

I don't find it a bad thing to invest in research and development, but is what Tesla and these other companies REALLY doing work to make all-electric cars that are cost effective? The Ford EcoBoost system does more for helping fuel efficiency than Tesla or these other companies are with their all electric cars that use current-generation batteries. What about using nanotube batteries as a true R&D effort?

RE: clue me in on this...
By weskurtz0081 on 1/22/2010 9:05:18 AM , Rating: 2
The problem here is, you shouldn't be basing how much the US government spends as a percent of GDP, it should be as a percent of tax revenue. The GDP is NOT how much the U.S. Government has to spend, and I would be willing to bet none of the countries on the list have the same tax revenues.

Now, I am not saying we have lower tax revenues than everyone else, but it could potentially change the picture a little bit.

But, who cares if the government gives less, what if the people give more? I am sure it evens out.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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