Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced today that they have paid off their entire federal loan. The company took a $451.8 million loan with interest from the U.S. Energy Department in 2009.
“I would like to thank the Department of Energy and the members of Congress and their staffs that worked hard to create the (advanced vehicle loan) program, and particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate,” stated Tesla Motors CEO and founder Elon Musk. “I hope we did you proud.”
During President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign last year, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney cited Tesla and Fisker to criticize his presidency over why the government made risk “green energy” loans while the country faces a major deficit. When the loan for Tesla was approved, Republicans were way due to the failure of solar panel company Solyndra and the struggles that Fisker is dealing with.
Tesla was able to raise the funds necessary to pay back the federal government by issuing more stock shares and making a bond offering. Tesla’s stock price has been on the rise ever since they announced their first profitable quarter since the auto company was first founded.
Tesla’s flagship vehicle is the Model S sedan, which was recently given a 99 out of 100 score in Consumer Reports. The car was also named the Motor Trend Car of the Year. Unfortunately, the Model S price range is out of the range that most consumers can afford at a $70,000 starting price. This is why the company launched a new financing program.