Can Tesla Meet This Aggressive Target?

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Elon Musk, CEO of California-based electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), mentioned on Tuesday that the company intends to pay back its federal loans, amounting to some $465 million, in half the time that it was scheduled to do so.

Musk made the announcement at an energy innovation summit, where he appeared with Energy Secretary Steven Chu and defended the Obama Administration’s clean energy program. Noting the firestorm of criticism aimed at the Energy Department after the bankruptcy of solar company Solyndra, which received a $528 million federal loan, Musk said it was only fair that the administration win praise for its success stores, such as Tesla. He explained that the company is on course to earn a small profit this quarter, up from the $75 million loss the company incurred last quarter.

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Tesla’s stock has been riding low lately, which Musk attributes to a public battle with a reporter from The New York Times who, following a winter weather long-distance test in Tesla’s Model S, reported that the car did not live up to the standards issued by the company…

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