Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney can now eat his campaign words — at least the part where he called Tesla a loser. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Thursday that now that Tesla has repaid the entirety of its loan to the Department of Energy, plus interest, U.S. taxpayers have actually made a $20 million profit off of Tesla.
That’s a telling metric for all of Tesla’s former haters, as well as recently converted fan boys. Tesla still has hurdles ahead of it as an independent auto maker, but the company has made it through the Valley of Death and emerged with its first quarterly profit in a decade, and a hot electric car that’s sold out for months.
In contrast, electric car maker Fisker Automotive, which took a loan from the same government program that Tesla did, could reportedly be sold for $20 million, and still owes the government $171 million. Check out my comparison piece: Tesla, Fisker, and what could have been: A tale of two electric car startups.