With federal aid for green-tech start-ups under assault in Washington, Tesla Motors took to the webs last week touting how its $465 million federal loan had helped create hundreds of jobs. But now, the Silicon Valley automaker is asking for more government money.
Tesla spokeswoman Khobi Brooklyn reportedly confirmed that the loan application was completed, adding that the money would be used “in our continued mission to make more affordable electric vehicles.”
She declined to say how much the company is seeking, or what the money would be used for.
Tesla acolytes suspect the loan might pay for a long-rumored “Bluestar” model meant to be an affordable family car.
Tesla Motors currently employs 200 workers at the facility — a workforce that it says will grow to 1,000 within 12 months. The plant will produce fully electric luxury sedans, which Tesla expects to sell for about $50,000 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.
The automaker has spent $400 million in federal monies since 2003, and says it will start turning profits in 2013, a claim questioned by critics.