N!NJA writes "Two major themes of our time — the desire to achieve energy independence and the furor over public bailouts — have collided in the drama surrounding swanky electric carmaker Tesla. Late last year, a New York Times column whipped Silicon Valley innovators and bailout-weary taxpayers into a frenzy. Valley professor and writer Randall Stross wrote that Tesla was hoping for government money to produce its cars, which only the very wealthy could afford. It wasn't exactly true, since the loan was intended to produce the $50,000 Model S sedan, not the $109,000 Roadster. Still, Stross called it a risky, waste of taxpayer money that would only benefit the wealthy and bailout VCs who'd sunk money into the money-losing company. Never mind, Tesla has developed two cars on less than $200 million — compared to the $1 billion General Motors spent developing the now-deceased EV1."