Electric car maker Tesla has paid off $465 million back to the Energy Department for loans they received in 2010. The company was able to pay back the loan nine years early due to money raised in the markets, and revenue from selling green energy credits to other automakers. Also, during the life of the loan, the Energy Department softened the conditions of the loan several times, to avoid Tesla falling into default and adding another embarrassment to the department after the collapse of Slyndra.
Clean energy supporters see the payment as a reinforcement that government subsidized clean energy companies work, but the success of the company still relies on how it performs from this point forward.
Tesla began delivering their Model S to consumers earlier this year and are expecting to sell 21,000 cars in 2013. Skeptics say that the initial demand for the Model S sports car was only the result of enthusiasts rushing to get their cars and they are skeptical that the market is as big as the company projects.