Tesla Model S - Click above for high-res image gallery
Manny Lopez does not appreciate Tesla Motors getting $465 million from the Department of Energy. The Detroit News columnist wrote an article published today that calls the money "an all-out gift to Tesla, the Silicon Valley startup that makes cars for the rich and famous" and said that Tesla "has friends in Congress who are making decisions without regard to facts and figures." The rest of the article is just a bunch of whining about how almost no-one will ever get to drive or buy a Roadster or a Model S. "I'm sure these are fun cars to drive," he write, "...But that's not how our dollars should be spent, propping up millionaires and billionaires, who, unlike their Detroit CEO brethren, fly in private planes when they're not toying around town in their electric cars.
As Business Insider notes, the article gets a lot of things just wrong. Lopez calls the money a gift, when it's really a loan. He doesn't mention the strong support that Ford (another DOE winner) and other automakers have in Congress. And what is that about CEOs and private planes? (Lopez also wrote that Tesla got $425 million, but whatever). Lopez says that there is merit to giving Ford money, because "it will make in a dozen factories to build more gas sippers." Does Lopez think there is no merit in inspiring a new generation of electric car fans and, you know, actually selling some EVs?