Tesla Motors made news last Wednesday when it posted its first quarterly profit.
But the maker of luxury electric vehicles continues to come under fire.
The U.S. government gives a $7,500 tax credit to anyone who buys one of its cars, but at more than $70,000 for a Model S sedan, only the rich can afford to benefit. The Department of Energy has also provided the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company with a $465 million loan guarantee, which boosts returns for Tesla's wealthy owners while putting taxpayers' money at risk. No wonder many are furious with Washington for "subsidizing cools cars for rich people."
The truth, though, is that selling Teslas (TSLA) to wealthy people today may be the best way to get electric cars to everyone tomorrow, and for the United States to eventually reduce its dependence on oil, with all the national security and economic benefits that entails.