$465 Million Loan Guaranteed to EV Giant Tesla Motors
The Department of Energy has announced a $465 million loan to Tesla Motors for construction of a manufacturing facility in Southern California and a power-train manufacturing plant in Palo Alto, California. The projects supported by DOE are expected to create over 1,600 jobs. Tesla’s Model S is fully electric, thus will consume no gasoline nor will the vehicle produce any emissions. The Model S will offer a variety of range options depending on the battery pack being loaned to the consumer. The ability to efficiently drive 300 miles on a single charge is a first for the EV market. Production of the Model S will begin in 2012 with a forecasted production capacity of 20,000 vehicles per year.
“This is an investment in our clean energy future that will create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it will help build a customer base and begin laying the foundation for American leadership in the growing electric vehicles industry.” Secretary Chu concluded, “This is part of a sustained effort to develop and commercialize technologies that will be broadly deployed throughout the American auto industry.”
The Department of Energy was appropriated $7.5 billion by Congress to support companies manufacturing vehicles and components in domestic factories that increase fuel efficiency at least 25% above 2005 fuel economy levels. The DOE’s review process is not focused on monopolizing a single technology over others, but is aimed at promoting a compound approach to achieve a fuel-efficient economy.