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Payoff of government startup funding is five years ahead of schedule

If the half-billion dollar boondoggle that was Solyndra is an example of the worst case scenario of the U.S. government playing venture capitalist, electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) may be the best case.  The automaker this week asked for -- and got -- permission to repay its $465M USD in government loans five years ahead of schedule.

The old agreement would have the Palo Alto-based company repaying its low-interest debt by late 2022, the new deal will have repayment finished by mid-2017.  Despite the recent spat with The New York Times, which devolved into an onerous he-said-she-said, Tesla's flagship Model S remains a hot seller.

With most reviews positive and with numerous awards in the bag, Tesla is once more profitable.  The mid-range luxury priced Model S is the key to that.  Tesla spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks says that the automaker will ship a record 20,000 Model S vehicles this year.

But if there was a cloud to be found in the silver lining, it's with Tesla’s crossover EV, the Model X. Tesla had hoped to begin production of the vehicle this year, but difficulties have forced to it shelve those plans until late 2014.  That means deliveries -- previously planned for 2014 -- will likely be pushed back till 2015.

A Model X prototype
A Tesla Model X prototype [Source: Valentin Flauraud / Bloomberg]
 
Another potential worry turned out to be a non-concern.  Tesla had delayed its annual 10K filing, raising fears that it was having some sort of undisclosed financial problems. Instead, explains Jefferies LLC, in a note to investors, "According to the company, the filing was delayed due to a last-minute change in the auditors' policies for classifying cash flows, and was not due to any errors on [Tesla's] part."

In other words, don't fret about the 10K.

Source: The LA Times



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RE: Sales
By othercents on 3/12/2013 8:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
GM estimates 36,000 Volts sold for 2013. Last year GM sold over 25,000 Volts last year and if you add in the Ampera which is the internal version then they sold just over 30,000 units.

Price wise they are in two different markets, one being pluggin with extended range and one being a luxury car. We know which we would rather have, but which can we afford? Obviously the Model S sales will start to taper off when all the rich people purchase one. This is why Tesla needs the SUV to be able to maintain momentum.

I believe both cars are great and a step ahead for electric vehicles, but we need something more. We need to take a leap in technology before electric cars can be widely accepted her in the US. Either that or people just have to drive less.


RE: Sales
By lelias2k on 3/12/2013 9:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
By "internal version" I assume you mean "international".

You talk about price wise and then go to compare their technical distinctions. Also, the Tesla S starts at a Series 5 price range, which is hardly "rich people" territory. Unless you consider people making 100k rich (they're not).

I used to be a Volt specialist at a Chevy dealer, and I can honestly say that I would buy that car if I was still living in the US. That said, I totally agree with you that we still need more. But that's how technology evolves: one step at a time.

In 1961 the approximate cost per GFLOPS, inflation-adjusted, was US $8.3 trillion. Last year it was US $0.73. It will take time, but unless oil companies succeed in killing the electrical vehicle, this time it is here to stay.


"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard














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