Tesla has been in the news quite a bit of late, in particular for a recent intellectual property lawsuit filed against the auto manufacturer. But that hasn't stopped Steven Chu, head of the Department of Energy, from awarding Tesla with the first of $8 billion in loans committed by the U.S. government for the development of advanced vehicle technologies.

Telsa will receive two loans totaling $465 million. The first will be to set up a manufacturing line for the much anticipated Tesla Model S sedan which will sell for $50,000 (and be eligible for a $7500 federal rebate). 

I can't say that I'm not jonesing for one of these cars -- 300-mile range, super roomy, 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, 45-minute quick charge and gets 256 mpg (in carbon equivalent)!

With a recent 10 percent stake taken by Daimler in Tesla and now the DOE loan, green car lovers are closer to that dream of getting behind a Tesla S. The loan will enable the manufacturer to go into production in 2011 with the first fleet of cars hitting in 2012, ramping up to 20,000 vehicles per year in 2013. It is estimated that the line will create 1,000 green jobs in California.

The second part of the loan is earmarked for manufacturing of Tesla's battery parks and all-electric drive trains to be used both by Tesla and other auto manufacturers creating another 650 Bay-area jobs.

via: Gas 2.0

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Tesla wins 'Chu prize' of $465 million
Despite lawsuits, the DOE awards the all-electric auto manufacturer its first big government loan.