Electric carmaker Tesla pays off U.S. loan

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 | Finance News

DETROIT (Reuters) - Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc on Wednesday said it has paid off its U.S. Department of Energy loan, using money raised last week in a stock and notes offering.

The automaker said it wired $451.8 million to repay the full loan with interest.

"I would like to thank the Department of Energy and the members of Congress and their staffs that worked hard to create the (Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing) program, and particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate," Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said in a statement. "I hope we did you proud."

DOE officials touted the news. Republicans have criticized the administration's support of new-technology companies, including struggling automaker Fisker Automotive, as well as electric battery maker A123 Systems and solar panel maker Solyndra. Both A123 and Solyndra filed for bankruptcy.

"When you're talking about cutting-edge clean energy technologies, not every investment will succeed -- but today's repayment is the latest indication that the Energy Department's portfolio of more than 30 loans is delivering big results for the American economy while costing far less than anticipated," U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a separate statement.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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