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Tesla repays the Feds nine years early

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Electric car manufacturer Tesla has paid back a government loan of half a billion dollars almost a decade earlier than expected.

Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk said: “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. I hope we did you proud.”

Following a stock offering last week, the car firm handed the Department of Energy $451.8m, meaning they have now paid back their entire loan with interest.

Although Tesla claims to have shipped 10,000 cars to 31 countries, it was able to pay back the dosh using the $1bn it raised from last week's share issue.

Recent figures from the company show that the $11.2m profits Tesla filed in the first quarter of 2013 are the first ever in the company's history, representing a remarkable turnaround from just a year ago when they recorded losses of $89.9m in the same quarter.

Tesla sold about 5,000 cars in the first quarter of 2013 and hopes to flog 20,000 more cars by the end of the year.

In 2010, Tesla was given a "milestone-based" loan of $465m, in which the DoE matched the cash raised by a public offering as part of its Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program, started by George W Bush in 2008 and continued by Obama.

Musk purchased $100m of common equity during the offering.

Tesla was founded in 2003 and survived on private funding for seven years.

The 'leccy car makers are quick to remind everyone that it was not given bailout cash, like Chrysler and GM recieved in 2008. ®

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