After yesterday's good news regarding delivery of the 100th Tesla Roadster, it's back to number-crunching reality. Tesla CEO Elon Musk told the Detroit Free Press that if the electric car maker doesn't get a $350 million loan from the government, then the Model S will be delayed and San Jose plant won't open. Just two weeks ago, Tesla opposed the Big Three getting any bailout money from the government. So, Musk's statement may seem contradictory, but it's not. We just need to look at the details.

Tesla's Vice President of Business Development, Diarmuid O'Connell, blogged about how it was a bad idea for the Big Three to get money that had been set aside in the December 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), specifically Section 136. Section 136 set up the Advanced Technology Vehicles Loan Program (ATVMLP), and Tesla opposed taking money that was supposed to make cars cleaner and instead use it to just keep the Big Three operating. Now, Tesla is asking for some of those Section 136 green car funds, something that the New York Times columnist Randall Stross doesn't want. Musk said that if the government shells out the $350 million, Tesla could sell 20,000 electric sedans a year by 2011.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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