Amid Apple’s offshore bank accounts and Facebook helping itself to half a billion dollars of your tax money, it’s nice to see a tech company not treating the government as a piggy bank. Like Tesla, for example, the electric car company that has just paid off a $465 million loan nearly a decade before it had to.
Tesla got the loan as part of the current administration’s attempts to invest in green infrastructure. Granted, not all of those loans went so well, but this one went right rather spectacularly.
In addition to payments made in 2012 and Q1 2013, today’s wire of almost half a billion dollars ($451.8M) repays the full loan facility with interest. Following this payment, Tesla will be the only American car company to have fully repaid the government.
That last is more impressive than you might at first think. The car industry is a notoriously difficult industry to break into, and until recently, electric cars were little more than jokey novelties nobody could take seriously.
Now the Chevy Spark is being priced aggressively to move, and Tesla’s stock is hovering above $80 a share. In fact that stock success is why it was able to pay the government back so early. In spite of a PR mess, the company has been steadily selling cars, and looks to be growing quickly.
So in other words that d-bag friend of yours currently tooling around in a Prius is probably going to have one of these pretty soon. Just remember not to hold the customers against the company.