First of all, let's stipulate that the Tesla model S is a pretty cool looking car, that the high-end version accelerates like a rocket, and that its massive, low center of gravity pretty much inures it against a rollover. Next, let's congratulate Elon Musk on paying off his half-billion dollar federal loan ahead of time. Finally, thanks to everyone in the country for helping to make this possible, and for continuing to do so.
The public is still on the hook for Tesla, and will be for the foreseeable future.
First, there's the $7500 taxback bonus that every buyer gets and every taxpayer pays. Then there are generous state subsidies ($2500 in California, $4000 in Illinois—the bluer the state, the more the taxpayers get gouged), all paid to people forking out $63K (plus taxes) for the base version, to roughly $100K for the really quick one.