Tesla Motors Approves $40 in Debt Financing

Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc., announced today that its board has approved $40 million in convertible debt financing, based on commitments from most of the company’s current major investors.

The financing will be used primarily to accelerate manufacturing of the Tesla Roadster, an all-electric, high performance sports car, the company said. In addition, the funds will be used to expand Tesla’s electric powertrain supply business and continue future product development.

"Forty million is significantly more than we need," said Elon Musk,
Tesla Chairman, CEO and Product Architect. "However, the board,
investors and I felt it was important to have significant cash

Last month the high-profile company announced that it would slow down development of its planned four-door sedan until it receives a loan from the Department of Energy, expected next year.

Tesla has delivered more than 50 Roadsters to customers so far and is now in regular production at a rate of ten cars per week. The company said it will increase production to thirty cars per week early next year.

More than 1,200 people have placed a deposit for the Roadster, on sale now in the United States and Europe. The Roadster’s 2008 model year production run is sold out, and the company is currently taking orders for the 2009 model year.

About Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors develops and manufactures all-electric, zero-emission vehicles. The Roadster, which conforms to all U.S. and E.U. safety and durability standards, is the only highway-capable production electric car of any kind for sale in the United States or Europe. Tesla also plans to begin manufacturing a four-door, five-passenger, all-electric, zero-emission luxury sedan in 2011. 

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