The Obama Administration will lend Tesla Motors $465 million to build an electric sedan and the battery packs needed to propel it. It’s one of three loans totaling almost $8 billion that the Department of Energy awarded today to spur the development of fuel-efficient vehicles.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that the Department of Energy is also lending $5.9 billion to Ford to retool factories in five states. Nissan will receive $1.6 billion to refurbish a factory in Tennessee to produce electric cars. The loans are the first awarded under the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program to help automakers offset the cost of retooling to build eco-friendlier cars that are at least 25 percent more fuel-efficient than 2005 models.