It was the Japanese who realized the worth of the Prius almost two decades back and look where they stand today in hybrid vehicle development. The US government seems to have finally realized the worth of green cars on American roads and therefore, finally the car makers have found some solace in the form of grants.
The biggest grabber is Tesla Motors which has managed a $465 million grant. The first part of the loan will be dedicated to setting up a manufacturing facility for the Tesla Model S Sedan. The second electric car from the company is an example of the reduction of cost for such cars as people would remember that the Roadster demanded a scary price, whereas the Model S is affordable at $50,000.
The Tesla can fetch the equivalent of 250mpg using the electric charge attained through a conventional 120V or 220V outlet. Production will begin by 2011 and in a couple of years the proposed facility would hit 20,000 vehicles per year, not to mention the 1,000 job opportunities it would create in southern California.
The rest of the money would be devoted to a facility that will make battery packs and electric drive trains not just for Tesla but even the City Smart For Two. Similar to the Model S, the battery manufacturing will begin in 2011 and production would reach 10,000 by 2012 and 30,000 packs in 2013. It would employ 650 individuals.[via Gas 2.0]