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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 msomeoneelsez on 1/22/2010 8:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
'Foreign aid' is a dish best served by outsourcing.

If a US company has a vested interest in a certain area of the world because they employ workers there, then they will be much more likely to work toward an increase in stable infrastructure. Furthermore, they will not benefit in any way from a corrupt government in the nations where they reside; in fact, they will only be harmed.

There is the simple answer.

But, to be more specific about the benefits of outsourcing to foreign countries, I will continue.

Every time a foreign worker is paid by a US company, the economy of the foreign market receives an influx of wealth equal to the payment given to the worker. Even on a 'low' salary of say, $10 a day, a foreign worker will now have $10 more to spend in his market than the market previously held. This is even including what people call "exploiting the worker" which I will address later.

Lets also consider what the $10 will support for the foreign worker; he has certain necessities to cover, such as food and water, even shelter, which would be provided by local suppliers. Each of those suppliers now has, in total, $10 more to use either for their own purposes, such as supporting their own necessities, or to use for investing in growing their business of supplying food or water. When followed through, the $10 influx resulted in a total increase of wealth (by value) of $10 or more, depending on how you look at it.

Now, to return to the idea of "exploitation of workers", this idea is quite misguided. Why would anyone take a job which exploits them? Because the other jobs which are available exploit them more than the job they took will. True, the wages or conditions may not be acceptable to US workers, but to the foreign workers, it is an improvement over their status quo. If they feel exploited, then they will quit and go to another job. If there are no other jobs, they will strike, or cringe their way through it because the alternative is worse.

In fact, outsourcing is a great thing... the increase in wealth and expansion of these developing nations actually creates markets for industrialized nations to sell to. The lower wage costs lowers the price of goods at home too, meaning more money is free to be spent on even more goods for Americans.

Furthermore, as mentioned is the simple explanation, when companies have vested interests in other regions because they have employees there, they will do things to improve the infrastructure of the region. They don't want their investments in buildings and machinery and training of workers to be floundered, they want it to keep producing for them.

In fact, outsourcing is probably one of the best examples of exploiting the profit motive I have ever seen. Why does everyone see profit as bad anyways? Profit is a great thing... profit breeds innovation and wealth creation. The only thing anyone needs to do in order to get certain things done, such as curing AIDS or helping Haitian earthquake victims is to find a way to exploit the profit motive so that good things will be done (that is, without causing bad repercussions, such as scams and whatnot.)

So what was said as Brandon's statements being a trap is actually quite false... there is no trap here when reason is used instead of emotional arguments. Just learn the very widely used thing called, "reason", "economics", and "free markets" to explain the reasons why certain actions are better than others. When understood, logical reasoning makes these issues seem so simple...

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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