Tesla paying back the Energy Department loan gives President Barack Obama the biggest win when it comes to his green-energy strategy.
Labeled by Republican Mitt Romney as ‘loser’, Tesla will become today the first company, which got an US Energy Department loan, to repay its debt. The automaker repays the loan 9 years ahead the deadline, which gives taxpayer the possibility to make at least $12 million for the $465 million lent. Tesla is the proof that Obama did not made a mistake by offering grants and loans to green-energy companies, as it is considered by Republicans.
Unfortunately, companies such as A123 Systems, Fisker Automotive and solar-panel maker Solyndra, cannot be held as examples.
“When they’re picking all these losers, it’s nice for them to have one where they can point to,” Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who held a hearing last month on Fisker’s loan, said in an interview yesterday.
Ford also got a loan of $5.9 billion, but on May 1st the company said it is making quarterly payments of $148 million. The deadline for Ford is June 2022. Nissan got a $1.4 billion loan, to develop the EV Leaf and batteries for the model. The automaker has not released the schedule for the loan repayment.
The failure of a few high-profile companies has overshadowed the results of a larger number of companies that are meeting their requirements and are solvent,” said Alan Baum, an automotive analyst at Baum & Associates in West Bloomfield, Michigan.