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A week after Tesla Motors announced it would be able to deliver the first Model S in June, a month ahead of the original July release date, the startup automaker continued the good news by announcing it will start repaying the Energy Department loans it got in 2009.

On September 23, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve (291-in-favor, 27-against) a stopgap bill that cuts $1.5 billion from the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. The bill, say the Democrats who opposed it, could result in the loss of up to 10,000 jobs and put up to ten automotive companies in jeopardy of losing out on funds needed to develop advanced technologies.


We haven't heard much from Tesla of late, but that may be because the upstart electric car maker is hard at work getting the Model S to market, as promised, before the end of 2012. The Model S itself is the product of a $465 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, but that's not the last round of loans Tesla has its sights set on.

Tesla Model S – Click above for high-res image gallery

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