Tesla Motors announced today that it has fully paid off the $465 million federal loan it received from the government in 2010.
According to CNN Money, the company made its first payment last December and was planning on taking another 10 years to completely pay back the loan. Well, the plan has changed. Tesla said that it has paid back the $465 million nine years early.
CEO Elon Musk said: “I would like to thank the Department of Energy and the members of Congress and their staffs that worked hard to create the [loan] program, and particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate. I hope we did you proud.”
The Contra Costa Times reports that the Department of Energy loaned out $34 billion for clean energy projects. Some companies, like Solyndra and electric car maker Fisker, have failed to pay back their loans. As of today, Tesla Motors is the only company to fully repay back its loan.
Still, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was optimistic about the the electric vehicle industry.
Moniz said: “Tesla employs more than 3,000 American workers and is living proof of the power of American innovation. This is another important contribution to what the Obama Administration has done to preserve and promote America’s auto industry. This announcement is also good news for the future of America’s growing electric vehicle industry. While the market has taken longer than predicted to get going, sales of electric vehicles in the U.S. tripled last year and are continuing to increase rapidly in 2013. Tesla and other U.S. manufacturers are in a strong position to compete for this growing global market.”