Critics argue that Tesla’s request to use taxpayer money to help a company making cars for wealthy patrons is elitist and wrong.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is drawing fire over his request for a $350 million loan from the federal government. Although the company receives widespread support for its leadership role in the burgeoning electric car industry, a growing number of observers believe that any funds given to Tesla, regardless of how the money would be used, are unwarranted. The Tesla Roadster sells for $109,000, but the company hopes to build a more affordable plug-in vehicle.

The backlash began with Randall Stross’s opinion piece in the New York Times, in which he wrote that Tesla’s “all-electric technology remains woefully immature and don’t-even-ask expensive.” Stross characterizes the Tesla Roadster and the company as elitist. He writes that many of the first vehicles “have gone to [Silicon] Valley’s billionaires and centimillionaires who are Tesla investors as well as early customers.”

Arnold Schwarzenneger is one of the first owners of a Tesla Roadster. He said, “It’s so nice when you sit in this sexy car and you drive from zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds, which is faster than a turbo Porsche. And no engine sound or greenhouse gas emissions.” Schwarzenneger chastised Detroit for not building electric cars. He said, “Arnold to Detroit: Get off your butt!”