Tesla, Nissan & Ford Score Early DOE Loans

The long-awaited cash from the US Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program has finally started to pay out. First there was the $535 million to Solynda announced in May, and now the White House has confirmed the three additional winners.

So who got what?

Ford: $5.9 billion
What For: To transform factories across Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio to produce 13 more fuel efficient models," namely more efficient models of the Focus, Escape, Taurus and F-150, among others.

Special earmark: $500 petty cash to cover the costs of the pity parties over at Chrysler and GM.

Nissan North America: $1.6 billion
What For: "To retool their Smyrna, Tennessee factory to build advanced electric automobiles and to build an advanced battery manufacturing facility." In other words, build an EV.

Special earmark: $20 will go towards retooling the city's name into something less ... gynecological-sounding.

Tesla: $465 million
What For: "To manufacture electric drive trains and electric vehicles in California", specifically to build a manufacturing facility for the Tesla Model S sedan. Money from the loan will also be used to advance Tesla's market share in building battery packs and electric drive trains for other makers.

Special earmark: $100 million will go towards erasing any hint that a 'Martin Eberhard' ever existed.

Among the 65 or so still waiting are Bright Automotive, Think North America, Aptera, Fisker Automotive, ZAP, AFS Trinity, A123Systems, and Ener1.

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