With loans to the Big 3 all but signed for, Tesla Motors feels they deserve a piece of the government handout pie. 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.
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. Musk said that with $350 million, Tesla could sell 20,000 electric sedans a year by 2011. “We can’t move forward with that without a major amount of capital,” said Musk. “If we don’t get any government funding, then what we need to do is we need to wait until the capital markets recover, which could be a year or two years from now.”
I sure hope the government does the right thing by helping a company with a proven track record of providing energy efficient vehicles. Sadly, the way things are moving right now, this will probably not happen soon enough.