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The electric vehicle company becomes the first to pay back the Department of Energy.

STEPHEN LACEY: MAY 22, 2013In a much-anticipated development, Tesla Motors said today that it had fully paid the government back for a $465 million loan it received in 2010 from the Department of Energy (DOE).

The company announced it had wired $451 million to the government, which accounted for the entire loan and interest. Tesla founder Elon Musk said earlier this spring at a DOE-sponsored conference that the company would be able to pay off the loan five years earlier than expected. Turns out, the loan was repaid nine years earlier.

The half-billion dollar loan was used to build two manufacturing plants in California -- one for the Model S sedan and another for battery, motor and electrical equipment assembly. Accessing the loan meant that Tesla had to hit certain production milestones and raise private matching funds.

After meeting its targets, the loan was repaid through $1 billion raised in last week's stock offering.

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