It appears to be Tesla's year.
Not only is it racking up VERY positive feedback on the new Model S, but it is also seemingly doing good business. While their creative accounting received some backlash, we do have to admit the cars are moving at a good pace.
And when you see one on the road, it's pretty cool. They do have presence and a unique facade. Though I wouldn't want to have to charge up for 30 or so minutes, I will say that avoiding paying at the pump is a pretty nifty thought.
That said, there's some more good news for Tesla. Remember those U.S. Department of Energy loans? Yeah, they just paid them all back.
It's unbelievable but true: the U.S. government didn't screw this one up and taxpayers made $12 million buckaroos on the deal. Funny thing is no one likes to report this about the funds repayed by the banks that were "bailed out," but that's another story for another site.
So, now what? Between this and the flurry of good news after a rocky start to 2013, it appears that Tesla could be onto something. Cars are popping up everywhere and the loans are paid in full.
Are they a WINNER in your book NOW?
Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), labeled a “loser” by Mitt Romney during the U.S. election, is giving President Barack Obama’s green-energy strategy its biggest win after almost two years of failures pounced upon by Republicans.
The maker of the electric Model S car as early as today will become the first recipient of a U.S. Energy Department vehicle loan to pay off its debt. The Palo Alto, California-based company will do so nine years ahead of schedule, with taxpayers making at least $12 million on the $465 million lent.
Tesla's press release follows:
Palo Alto, CA – May 22, 2013 — Tesla Motors announced that it has paid off the entire loan awarded to the company by the Department of Energy in 2010. In addition to payments made in 2012 and Q1 2013, today’s wire of almost half a billion dollars ($451.8M) repays the full loan facility with interest. Following this payment, Tesla will be the only American car company to have fully repaid the government.
For the first seven years since its founding in 2003, Tesla was funded entirely with private funds, led by Elon Musk. Tesla brought its Roadster sports car to market with a 30% gross margin, designed electric powertrains for Daimler (Mercedes) and had done preliminary design of the Model S all before receiving a government loan.
In 2010, Tesla was awarded a milestone-based loan, requiring matching private capital obtained via public offering, by the DOE as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. This program was signed into law by President Bush in 2008 and then awarded under the Obama administration in the years that followed. This program is often confused with the financial bailouts provided to the then bankrupt GM and Chrysler, who were ineligible for the ATVM program, because a requirement of that program was good financial health.
The loan payment was made today using a portion of the approximately $1 billion in funds raised in last week’s concurrent offerings of common stock and convertible senior notes. Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer and cofounder, purchased $100 million of common equity, the least secure portion of the offering. “I would like to thank the Department of Energy and the members of Congress and their staffs that worked hard to create the ATVM program, and particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate,” said Elon Musk. “I hope we did you proud.”