Tesla CEO: We Didn't Get Bailed Out

· · 10 years ago

General Motors and Chrysler were saved from bankruptcy by big government bailouts. But Tesla Motors, the California-based electric car start-up, was not. That's what Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to make perfectly clear.

Musk said in an interview last week, in Automotive News, that it is one of his "pet peeves that people still think we got bailed out… I still encounter intelligent, otherwise well-informed people who say, 'Thank goodness you got that bailout.'"

Tesla did receive government funds—$465 million—but it was a loan, not a grant. "We have to pay it back," Musk said.

Furthermore, Musk said that the company didn't really need the DOE cash to survive because the company received an equity investment from Daimler in May 2009. The federal loan to Tesla just started arriving and is limited to engineering and production work for a future model, the Model S.

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