Tesla Motors paid off its $465 million federal loan nine years before it had to. In a revelation sure to make any loan holder jealous, the electric car maker surprised the Obama administration by paying off the loan, which was made by the Energy Department in 2010.
The announcement by Tesla will likely boost both the electric car industry and the administration, whose clean-energy loan programs, including the loan given to Tesla, were scrutinized after the collapse of Solyndra, a solar panel maker.
The car company used money it raised in the markets last week to pay off its debt to the government. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz stated of the incident:
“Today’s repayment is the latest indication that the Energy Department’s portfolio of more than 30 loans is delivering big results for the American economy while costing far less than anticipated.”
After the $465 million loan was repaid, Tesla co-founder and leader Elon Musk commented, “I hope we did you proud.” He also thanked the Energy Department, Congress, and taxpayers for the loan.
Tesla’s stock has been on the rise after two major announcements so far this year. The first announcement came from Motortrend magazine, which named the Tesla Model S its 2013 Car of the Year. The award was a milestone, as it was the first top award given to a completely electric car.
The second announcement was made by Consumer Reports, which this month gave the Model S sedan a 99 out of 100 rating, the highest grade it has ever given a vehicle. Even before the awards were given, electric car enthusiasts rushed to buy the Tesla Model S, which combines an eco-friendly option with all the style of a top-level sports car.
Tesla was famously called a “loser” company by Republican politicians Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. It is likely, given the company’s early loan repayment, that the two are reconsidering their assessment, given the electric car maker’s success.
What do you think is next for Tesla after repaying its $465 million early?
[Image via Tesla Motors Inc.]