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Musk only needs half the time given to pay loan

Electric vehicle maker Tesla received a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to the tune of $465 million. The automaker has until the end of the decade pay off the loan, but CEO Elon Musk believes that Tesla will be able to pay off the entire loan in half the time.

The loan was granted to Tesla under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program and allowed the automaker to retool an automotive manufacturing plant in California. Tesla uses that plant to produce the Model S electric vehicle, and has recently stated that it will be able to produce 20,000 of the sedans during 2013.


President Obama and Elon Musk

Despite seeing a significant increase in revenue, the automaker lost nearly $90 million during the last quarter and lost approximately $400 million during all of 2012. This news sent Tesla shares downward last week.
 
Musk also got personally involved in a dustup with the New York Times over what he saw as an unfair and dishonest review of the Model S. According to Musk, the bad publicity cost the company $100 million.

Source: Technology Review



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RE: Great photo
By Solandri on 2/28/2013 4:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
Society in Henry Ford's day and time wasn't facing an impending horse feed shortage.

Whether you believe oil has passed peak production, or that we still have 50-100 years left until peak production, everyone's agreed that at some point it's going to run out. Gradually, but the price will gradually increase in the meantime.

If you rely totally on market forces, there's a time delay between when oil prices go up, research in alternatives begins, and the technology finally comes to market. All the while you're paying exorbitantly high oil prices to keep your industrial engine running.

If you instead pre-research those technologies before market forces would naturally kick in that research, you can speed up and ease that transition period. I view government loans for EV research as insurance. Maybe it'll pay out, maybe it won't. But I'll sleep better knowing we have a plan in place instead of waiting until the last minute to tackle it. Likewise, if the average corporate R&D plan had a 10-20 year timeline, I'd feel comfortable letting private industry handle it. But most corporate planning has a 1-3 year timeline. I don't think that's long enough to ensure a smooth transition from oil to some other transportation power source.

Note: I think EVs are a dead end, and that biofuels will win out in the end. Unless we start building nuclear plants out the wazoo for electrical power or there's a breakthrough in nuclear fusion. But R&D spending always carries with it the risk that you won't get anything useful out of it. The companies which abandon R&D for guaranteed profitability usually do pretty poorly, like HP. So even though R&D is a gamble, it's usually a good bet to take. Even if EVs turn out to be a bust, some of the improvements in battery tech should spill over into batteries for mobile devices, so some of the cost will still be recouped.


RE: Great photo
By Mint on 2/28/2013 5:50:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think EVs are a dead end, and that biofuels will win out in the end. Unless we start building nuclear plants out the wazoo for electrical power or there's a breakthrough in nuclear fusion.
Electrical power is not the limitation.

If we put half our 3 trillion annual miles on the grid today (which will take a good 150 million EV sales), we'd only need ~10% of our current electricity production to fuel it. We have that much generation capacity sitting idle off-peak already.


RE: Great photo
By Rukkian on 3/1/2013 9:39:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But most corporate planning has a 1-3 year timeline.


Actually with everybody seemingly only in for a quick buck in the stock market, many seem to only have a 3-6 month outlook, and are willing to forget any sort of long term goals for the quick buck to make the stock uptick a few points.


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