The prestige bling mobile of 2014 is going to be the Tesla/Mercedes hybrid.The Tesla Motor Company announced that in 2014, the company will have a network of charging installations across the USA that will allow a Tesla owner to drive from Los Angeles to New York City. The electric vehicle has a present range of 265 miles on a single charge. The Tesla charging systems are solar powered and the idea is that they will feed the excess energy they continuously generate into the energy grid. This is the company that Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan all tried to hang as an albatross around the neck of the Obama administration in their attempt to destroy the idea of renewable energy cars and technology. They and Fox News continuously harped on the $456,000,000 loan the government gave to Tesla. Guess what? Tesla announced today that they repaid the loan in full 9 years ahead of schedule!
It turns out that if you give a bunch of intelligent innovators the seed money to conduct innovative research, the innovators will sometimes successfully innovate.
Tesla is riding a meteoric rise in stock value. Company shares have more than tripled in price since the first of the year, gaining 14% on Tuesday alone to close at $110.33. CEO Elon Musk (also the owner of SpaceX, a private space transport company) has used profits from the surge to pay off the U.S. Energy Department’s loan, in part by buying $100 million of the stock himself.
Tesla’s first available sedan is the Model S, a sleek all-electric vehicle capable of going 265 miles on a single charge, the greatest range of any electric car on the market. It has a base price of $69,000 and the first run of 21,000 units sold out almost immediately.
Despite Tesla’s success, some Republicans seem intent on focusing on the federal government’s less profitable investments. “When they’re picking all these losers, it’s nice for them to have one where they can point to,” Representative Jim Jordan said.
Essentially, then, the Republican argument against clean-energy loan programs is: ‘If any of the investments fail, then the entire program is a failure. But the success of alternate technology truly terrifies these guys. It's not the technology, it's their precious carbon based energy empire.Their house of cards is falling down. If the energy oil companies are suffering, how are their lobbyists gonna be able to keep paying off the crooked politicians and keeping them living the posh life style they have gotten accustomed to? How are they going to keep up appearances?
I posted a mash up from Media Matters showing how Fox has done a 180 degree turn in their reportage about Tesla. They started echoing the Republican criticism of the loan and predicted the failure of the company and now are crowing about the success of American innovation and seem to have even forgotten that there was even a loan in the first place. Loan? What loan?