DOE to Loan $465 Million to Tesla Motors for Development of Electric Vehicles

The Department of Energy (DOE) has closed its $465 million loan with Tesla Motors Inc. for construction of a manufacturing facility in southern California on the Model S electric sedan and a power-train manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California. The Palo Alto facility will assemble electric vehicle battery packs, electric motors, and related electric vehicle control equipment, both for Tesla's own electric vehicles and for sale to other automobile manufacturers.

The agreement was negotiated and signed by the Department's Loan Programs Office, which supports the development of innovative, advanced vehicle technologies to create thousands of clean energy jobs while helping reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. “This is an investment in our clean energy future that will create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said DOE Secretary Steven Chu. “It will help build a customer base and begin laying the foundation for American leadership in the growing electric vehicles industry. This is part of a sustained effort to develop and commercialize technologies that will be broadly deployed throughout the American auto industry.”

Tesla's planned Model S will consume no gasoline and will not produce any tailpipe emissions. It is being designed to offer a variety of range options depending on the battery pack used, from 160 to 300 miles on a single charge. Volume production of the Model S is planned to begin in 2012 with a target production capacity of 20,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2013. According to Tesla, the Model S project and power-train manufacturing facility are expected to create over 1,600 jobs.

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