DOE closes $465M loan to Tesla Motors

teslamodelsWashington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has closed its $465 million loan with Tesla Motors, Inc. for construction of a manufacturing facility in southern California to produce its Model S electric sedan and a power-train manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California.

The Palo Alto facility will assemble electric vehicle battery packs, electric motors, and related electric vehicle control equipment, both for Tesla’s own electric vehicles and for sale to other automobile manufacturers.

Tesla’s Model S will consume no gasoline and will not produce any tailpipe emissions. The vehicle platform will offer a variety of range options depending on the battery pack used, from 160 to 300 miles on a single charge. Volume production of the Model S is planned to begin in 2012 with a target production capacity of 20,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2013. According to Tesla, the Model S project and power-train manufacturing facility are expected to create over 1,600 jobs.

This marks the DOE’s second loan arrangement agreement signed with an advanced technology vehicle manufacturer. In September 2009, DOE signed its first loan agreement for $5.9 billion to Ford Motor Company. The DOE has also signed conditional commitments with Nissan North America, Inc. and Fisker Automotive.

Tenneco Inc. became the first advanced technology component manufacturer to obtain a conditional commitment from DOE in October of last year. Nissan plans to build electric cars and battery packs at the company’s Smyrna, Tennessee manufacturing complex, while Fisker recently announced plans to build plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by reopening a shuttered GM plant in Wilmington, Delaware, reports the DOE.

The DOE plans to make additional loans over the next several months to large and small auto manufacturers and parts suppliers up and down the production chain.

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