Tesla Makes First Loan Early Payment image

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said he will make the first payment of the US Energy Department loans earlier than expected.

In June 2009 Tesla was offered a $465 million US loan to develop and manufacture the Model S sedan. The Energy Department requested a faster repayment as the automaker expands sales of the $57,400 Model S.

“I am happy to announce that we will be initiating an advance payment today to prefund the principal payment that is due in March 2013,” said Musk.

Over the next few months, Tesla and the Energy Department will come up with a prepayment plan. The loan used by several automakers such as Ford, Tesla, Fisker and Nissan was created in 2008 by President George W. Bush’s administration, aimed at increasing sales of highly fuel-efficient cars and trucks. It was President Obama the one that disbursed the money and set the goal of 1 million EVs sold in the US by 2015.

This loan program and the bailouts of Chrysler and GM have been frequent topics of conversation on the political campaign this year, with Romney continuously accusing Obama for his decision to save the automakers.