• Dec 10, 2008
Detroit isn't the only place in the U.S. where struggling automakers are looking for government handouts. Tesla Motors, Silicon Valley's one and only auto manufacturer, is looking for an initial injection from the government of $350 million, which is slated to fund the development and necessary manufacturing facilities for its upcoming Model S sedan with another $200 million to produce lithium-ion batteries plus $100 million to expand its growing drivetrain business. It's still early, but we're pretty sure that equals a cool $650 mil.
Like the $15 billion that the Detroit 3 are still hoping to get within the next few days, Tesla's $650 million would come from the $25 billion investment in green technology that Congress has already approved for American automakers. Without this infusion of capital, Tesla Motors' CEO Elon Musk claims that its battery-powered sedan, which is expected to bow sometime next year on conceptual form, will be delayed by a few years until the economy recovers and more capital investment can be raised on its own.

[Sources: Detroit Free Press, Bloomberg, Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty]


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  • 41 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dude, where's my bailout?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I need a bailout too. Just let them fold. Someone can buy the assets cheap.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you are of that opinion than all automakers should be on their own.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You guys are missing the point here...

      "Tesla's $650 million would come from the $25 billion investment in green technology that Congress has already approved for American automakers."

      Tesla is asking for 3% of the money already set aside to develop fuel-efficient tech to put into their newest sedan. The best part is that they already have the tech in place, they just need the money to get production going.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Goodbye stinky expensive electric car company! Why not build the mass market model first? Who needs an electric Elise anyway?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I say give it to 'em.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You notice how a certain rocket had nothing to say about this? Is it possible that this is too small an issue to matter to him and his political agenda? Do you ever wonder why he never has anything to say unless it's about the "bailout" of Detroit automakers?
      • 6 Years Ago
      What next wallmart will want a loan to open up more sweat shop factories in Asia. Good luck with your 12 trillion dollar and climbing debt.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The auto business is completely different when you start mass production; even you or I can build a BEV in our garage; but, when you start talking about thousands of sedans a month, it takes millions of dollars to set up supply lines, production robots, and people production lines.

      TMC is going into this business with a definite advantage. They don't have the legacy baggage that the big three have, i.e., pension plans, health plans and out of scale wages. TMC wants to establish a high tech plant in California and frankly, I think they are a much better risk than any of the other companies. Musk has shown a no nonsense approach to running the company and appears to not have problems making the necessary decisions for the good of the company. I believe he would use the money wisely.

      And, as pointed out, this pool of money is earmarked for exactly what he wants to use it for.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would not give that Hype mobile company a dime. Let the movie stars walk. If I had one, I would replace the slot car motor, with the new 2009, V8, sounding Yamaha R1 cross plane 4 cylinder motorcycle engine, and really enjoy it for up to 300 miles on a fill up, that would take 3 minutes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Capitalism is dead. The government shot it in the head, and if it wasn't dead instantly, it is bleeding out now.

      Doing business on time, or justifying delays, production, tooling, whatever...

      ...IS TESLA'S PROBLEM.

      IT IS NOT MY PROBLEM. I am a taxpayer, and I want no damn part of any of this. Not ANY of it, from the banking, auto, or ANY industry, and certainly not bailing out other states, either.

      Where is the value supposed to come from that is going to back up the money that they are printing for all of the spending?

      I don't care if it is green, I don't care if people lose their jobs. 'Green' is bullcrap politics at it's core, real honest efficiency will happen anyway, when people care about real efficiency, not political posturing. This product will survive a delay, if it is real efficiency that people want, for real reasons.

      Companies don't exist to give people work. Jobs lost will be transferred to some other job, if people are motivated enough to work.

      But bilking the taxpayer, destroying the foundations of the country and the economy, and eradicating freedom by abandoning the constitution will be more severe. Our liberty and opportunity will be gone, the next time we go looking for some of it, and it is costly to get back. It usually costs in blood.

      This is just one more revolution in a snowball rolling down a big hill, gathering mass and speed.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I am the first to say that men are sinners...

        But people want what they want. And consumers, if they want efficiency, can put their money where their mouth is on this "green efficiency" business.

        Companies like Tesla that are feeding that market demand, or speculating that there is and will continue to be demand, can do their business, market their product, do what they have to do to make it work, or fail trying.

        Desire is not necessarily greed. Greed is a sin, and usually comes at the expense of something. When it comes at the expense of others, usually it also breaks the law, like fraud. But people who want what they want, and those who want to make money selling to those people, are not doing anything really wrong.

        The efficiency of market forces is actually easier to come by than energy efficiency in cars.

        But even "greed" is better than government tyranny, as they take and seize control of business.

        If Government takes control, in any fractional amount, of the Big 3, do you think they are going to want to be undercut by Tesla, if Tesla's products actually generate more demand than the government-induced Big 3 greenie products?

        Or will they seize and socialize Tesla or any other startup, and either steal their technology from them or legislate it away from them, socialize THAT too, and either put Tesla's resources and people under the same thumb, or out on the curb?

        Do you think the Government is going to bet on the Big 3, take ownership, and then not bring their power to bear?

        This is STILL an affront to freedom, free enterprise, private ownership, and the pursuit of happiness guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence. It has Liberty in it's sights, and I don't think we want to talk about the government's role regarding the right to Life.
        • 6 Years Ago
        you my friend are mistaken ... real efficiency won't ever be achieve because of the component of greed in man's soul. Capitalism is purely based on numbers and we are not numbers and if we let our society operate unchecked based on the numbers we will all be destroyed before long .. capitalism is based on profit and profit does not take into effect issues of living and happiness .. by the time capitalism realizes that we should protect the planet it might well be too late ... the government should whether it was meant to be or not be the balance that takes into account the human condition .. and how to protect and preserve it past the financial systems that we all operate by.

        -sun
        • 6 Years Ago
        sounds like a nice view from that ivory tower of yours, but for those of us with our feet on the ground, the world (thankfully) just doesn't work that way
      • 6 Years Ago
      less than 30 cars? And they are justifying it by comparing themselves to 3 car makers that have produced, what a *few hundred million cars*!

      If you disagree with Telsa--WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN!

      Telsa is VC supported, they, like all startups in the valley are under HEAVY pressure to turn a profit for their VCs. This is a way "out" for them. They cater to rich customers backed by wealthy VCs and they want your money for a free investment. Being smaller and surrounded by wealthy folks == big lobbying power in DC and they also have Pelosi in their back pocket (she a SF/Valley power broker).

      GM solved the battery operated car long time ago (watch Who Killed the Electric Car?), it's the hydrogen problem now... Telsa is just experimenting for the early adopters.
      • 6 Years Ago
      that picture is awesome, lol

      not sure about how likely tesla is to get a gov't loan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How about providing an updated business plan?

      Theirs was flawed from the beginning, as they felt that since they are from California they would automatically be able to design, test, build prototypes, production facilities/capabilities and pass all required government standards better than any of the domestic OEM's. LOL.

      Fisker is following a much more intelligent approach - i.e. they are using as many components as they possibly can - all the way down to door hinges - from existing vehicle platforms to achieve economies of scale that Tesla can't even hope to achieve.
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