The Department of Energy is prepared to award Tesla a loan, which it will announce in Michigan tomorrow, sources tell the Detroit Free Press. Ford and Nissan will also be approved for loans.
Tesla is hoping to receive $350 million for a factory to build its $57,400 sedan, the Model S. It also wants $100 million for a powertrain factory. Ford is looking for $11 billion, and Nissan is reported elsewhere to want $1.1 billion. The Free Press doesn’t specify how much each company will receive.
The loans are part of a $25 billion program approved in 2005 for investment in fuel efficient vehicles. This announcement will likely be part of a larger effort by the Obama administration to promote its energy plans.
This news comes in the middle of an action packed year for the electric car startup.
In January, the company was almost dead. It eventually landed a deal with Daimler in May, who took a 10% investment in the company for $50 million.
In March Tesla also rolled out the product the entire company hinges on, the Model S. The Model S, while not cheap–at least $57,400–is aimed at a mass market. It will also be used for rolling out the next Tesla, the so called “Blue Star.”
Last week, Tesla’s co-founder, Martin Eberhard sued CEO Elon Musk and Tesla for breach of contract and slander. Musk shot back today on Tesla’s website saying Eberhard’s lawsuit was inaccurate. He also said Tesla is on the road to profitability. That’s important because the DOE won’t issue loans to companies that aren’t financially viable.
Martin Eberhard will have his day in court to reclaim some money and some dignity, but Tesla is no longer his company (if it ever was.) Tesla is truly Musk’s. He invested in it when it was basically an idea. By his force of will, the company is in position to fulfil the dreams both Musk and Eberhard had when they struck their first deal together.
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