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Tesla to repay federal loan early

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 9 (UPI) — Niche U.S. auto company Tesla Motors Inc. said it would pay off its $465 million government loan five years earlier than originally planned.

In its annual report, the California electric car maker said it had been given permission to repay the Department of Energy’s loans early, completing payment by the end of 2017, rather than the end of 2022, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

The loans were intended to help Tesla build alternative-energy vehicles, which is the company’s specialty.

The company makes only top-end electrically-powered vehicles and power train components.

In its annual report, Tesla said the production of its Model X car had been pushed back a year with an expectation of staring production in late 2014.

Instead, the company will concentrate on production of its Model S sedan, for which the company forecasts sales of 20,000 units, Tesla spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks said.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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