In a presidential debate last fall, Republican candidate Mitt Romney famously called Tesla Motors (and other clean energy companies that got federal loans) a “loser.” Sarah Palin lumped Tesla in with struggling Fisker Automotive in a Facebook post in April. And Fox News has been highly critical of Tesla – until recently.
The folks at Media Matters for America, a non-profit research and information center that monitors “conservative misinformation” in the U.S. media, has created a priceless mash-up of recent Fox News and Fox Business coverage regarding Tesla. If you don’t regularly watch Fox News – and I’ll admit that I don’t – it’s quite remarkable. The influential network has gone from calling Tesla another “failure” of the Obama administration to forgetting that Tesla was ever awarded a federal loan.
On Wednesday, Tesla announced that it was paying off the balance of its ATVM loan from the DOE in full, and nine years early. Bloomberg reporter Alan Ohnsman has some great details about what it means in his story. There’s been a bit of back-and-forth between Tesla and Chrysler about which auto company was the “first” to pay back its loan; Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted today that Tesla was the first US company, since Chrysler is owned by Fiat.
Tesla’s stock is trading at nearly $89 a share, and the company now has a market cap of $10.3 billion.