Tesla to begin repaying U.S. DOE loans by end of 2012 image

Tesla Motors Inc. the Silicon Valley-based company that designs, manufactures and sells electric vehicles and electric vehicle powertrain components plans to start repaying its DOE loans by the end of the year, Bloomberg reports.

According to the same source, the Palo Alto, California-based company had $104.5 million left as of March 31 of the Energy Department loans awarded in June 2009.

The remaining funds will be used in the third quarter, with repayments to begin in December
The automaker plans to ship its Model S sedan in June, and the electric carmaker revealed that top-of-the-line Model S trims will have a range of up to 265 miles.
The sedan offers seating for five adults and, in some configurations. room for an extra two children’s seats. It also is to have some speed, with an anticipated zero-to-60 acceleration of less than six seconds.

The price of the Model S ranges from $49,900 to $97,900, depending on its mileage range and options, after a federal $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles. Early sales will be of the most expensive model.
However, Tesla continues to lose money. It lost nearly $90 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to a loss of about $50 million during the same period the year before.

It’s staying afloat in large part thanks to a Department of Energy loan. It continues to meet the milestones required by the loan, so it still has access to the money, unlike Fisker Automotive.

Tesla is still awaiting approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but it expects the Model S to receive a five-star safety rating from the agency.