280m loans for electric car maker

A firm that makes battery-powered cars will receive $465 million (£280 million) in low-interest loans from the US government to boost its production of affordable, fuel-efficient electric vehicles.

US-based Tesla Motors plans to use $365 million (£220 million) for production engineering and assembly of its electric family sedan, the Model S, which carries seven people and travels up to 300 miles per charge.

The other $100 million (£60 million) will go towards building a powertrain manufacturing plant. The site is expected to expand the electric-vehicle market by making the firm's techniques available to other automakers.

Tesla is famous for its all-electric high-performance sports car, the Tesla Roadster, which was the first production battery electric vehicle to travel more than 200 miles per charge and the first US and EU-certified Lithium-Ion battery electric vehicle.

Tesla chief executive and product architect Elon Musk said: "Tesla will use the ATVM loan precisely the way that Congress intended - as the capital needed to build sustainable transport."

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