On his show Tuesday night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly falsely claimed that the California-based Tesla Motors was $523 million in the hole.
The conservative Fox News host was discussing the alleged failure of the Energy Department’s clean-energy loan program, which invested billions of dollars in green companies and start-ups.
“Tesla Motors, alright, they got net losses — and this is another electric car, right? — $523 million in losses,” O’Reilly said with a chuckle. “In losses, and they got $465 million bucks from the government!”
However, Tesla Motors said February in a letter to shareholders that the company had a net loss of $89.9 million — far lower than O’Reilly’s figure. Tesla Motors also said it was on track to be profitable in the first quarter of 2013.
The $523 million figure is from 2011. At the time, Tesla Motors had halted production of its Roadster and was developing the Model S luxury sedan.
Conservatives have frequently targeted the Energy Department’s clean-energy loan program, citing the failures of tax-payer backed companies like A123 Systems and Solyndra. Despite the company’s pioneering successes, conservatives have lumped Tesla Motors together with failed or failing green companies.
While discussing the loan program, former GOP candidate Mitt Romney labeled Tesla Motors “losers” in 2012. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin repeated the same comment last week and Fox Business host Lou Dobbs repeated the comment yet again on Monday.
Watch video, courtesy of Fox News, below: