Tesla Motors Inc. said Wednesday it has repaid its $465 million U.S. Department of Energy loan nine years ahead of schedule.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the California automaker said it terminated the loan and reimbursement agreement with the DOE, a significant step for the company in shedding its image of a government-backed entity.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Monday that the automaker planned to become the first to pay off its DOE debt.

Tesla, along with Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Fisker Automotive Inc., received DOE loans in 2009.

The standard repayment schedule for Ford's $5.9 billion loan and Nissan's $1.4 billion loan is 10 years. Fisker missed a loan payment, and is at risk of bankruptcy after halting output last year and firing most of its staff last month.