Press Releases

Senator Feinstein Applauds $465 Million Energy Department Loan to California-Based Tesla Motors

-Section 136 loan will generate 1,600 new jobs in California-

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded news that the U.S. Department of Energy had finalized a $465 million loan to Tesla Motors, a California-based company that manufactures electric vehicles. The loan, issued through the Department’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM), will generate up to 1,600 new jobs in California.

“I strongly supported creating the program that made possible this $465 million loan to Tesla Motors, which will generate up to 1,600 manufacturing jobs in California,” Senator Feinstein said. “Creating jobs should be the federal government’s top priority at a time when so many people are feeling the pain of economic strife.  I hope this is the first of many such awards that will help return prosperity and opportunity to the people of California by keeping our state at the cutting edge of new, clean technological sectors.”

The loan will be used for the construction of two manufacturing facilities in California. The larger facility will be an assembly plant for the Model S electric sedan, located in Southern California; and the second, a power-train manufacturing facility, will be built in Palo Alto.  The Palo Alto facility will assemble electric vehicle battery packs, electric motors, and related electric vehicle control equipment, both for Tesla’s own electric vehicles and for sale to other automobile manufacturers.

Senator Feinstein played a key role in supporting the creation of the loan program, which is designed to fund the retooling of factories to produce more fuel efficient vehicles.  The program was established by Congress in Section 136 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which also included legislation authored by Senator Feinstein to significantly increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards.  Congress funded the vehicle loan program through the FY 2009 Continuing Resolution (CR), enacted on September 30, 2008, appropriating $7.5 billion to support a maximum of $25 billion in loans, in order to infuse additional credit into the burgeoning U.S. clean energy sector.