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DOE Announces $528.7M Conditional Loan for Fisker Automotive for PHEVs

The US Department of Energy is awarding a $528.7-million conditional loan to Fisker Automotive for the development of two lines of plug-in hybrids—the Karma and the new Project Nina vehicle—by 2016. This is the fourth conditional loan commitment the Department of Energy has entered into under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan program. The Department plans to make additional loans under this program over the coming months to large and small auto manufacturers and parts suppliers up and down the production supply chain.

In the first stage of the program, Fisker Automotive will use a $169.3 million ATVM loan for engineering integration costs as it works with primarily US suppliers to complete the company’s first vehicle, the Fisker Karma. (Earlier post.) Engineers will also design tools and equipment and develop manufacturing processes. This work will be conducted at Fisker’s Pontiac, Michigan office with support from its headquarters in Irvine, California.

While the final assembly of the Karma will be done overseas, more than 65% (based on cost) of the parts required for Karma will come from US suppliers. The four-door Karma is scheduled to appear in showrooms in summer 2010.

The second stage includes a $359.36-million ATVM loan for Fisker’s Project Nina—the design, engineering and assembly of Fisker Automotive’s next-generation plug-in hybrids, starting at about $39,900 after tax credits. Fisker says that Project Nina—inspired by the ship belonging to explorer Christopher Columbus—is symbolic of the automobile industry’s transition from old world to new. Fisker estimates production of up to 75,000-100,000 of these plug-ins in the US per year beginning in late 2012.

Fisker automobiles use an extended range electric vehicle architecture, and will offer a cruising range of about 300 miles.

The first three conditional loans included $5.9 billion for Ford Motor Company; $1.6 billion to Nissan North America, Inc.; and $465 million to Tesla Motors. (Earlier post.)



It may be financially risky but it is one of the best way to accellerate the transition and ensure a very high level of USA contents in future PHEVs.

Many other countries will do likewise to keep their local industries involved in the new vehicle cleaner future technologies.

Increased local competition is also required to keep the Big-3 on their toes.


Not bad, considering no vehicle is sold, GM makes the ICE, and it's only $528.7 million taxpayer dollars.


$528.7 million taxpayer dollars for a car that only the Hollywood elite can afford.

This is so depressing


Yes, depressing, and there's no funds for healthcare.

Henry Gibson

Electric hybrids are far too expensive, lets try hydraulic more often. Plug in is not as important as doubling fuel efficiency. ..HG.


I'm with JT, pat and HG.


JT, pat and HG,

All this free money for the rich, yet all human work and achievement depends on one's health:

"Excise Tax. The consequence for not maintaining insurance would be an excise tax. If a taxpayer‘s MAGI is between 100-300 percent of FPL, the excise tax for failing to obtain coverage for an individual in a taxpayer unit (either as a taxpayer or an individual claimed as a dependent) is $750 per year. However, the maximum penalty for the taxpayer unit is $1,500. If a taxpayer‘s MAGI is above 300 percent of FPL the penalty for failing to obtain coverage for an individual in a taxpayer unit (either as a taxpayer or as an individual claimed as a dependent) is $950 year. However, the maximum penalty amount a family above 300 percent of FPL would pay is $3,800." Baucus bill pending..

In other words, those Americans that can't afford medical insurance will also be forced to pay the penalties above.


paul in hampden

Read the article. Better yet, read the TITLE. Its a LOAN not a gift. Its a pretty normal process for new technology to start out at the high end and move down from there. That is exactly what is happening here. First the $80,000 car, then the $39,000 car and eventually one that costs even less.


It certainly seems truly insane. Maybe we're missing something.
Or maybe there is more insanity.

If a 30 year old dad with little kids , has the minimum insurance but needs some really high $$$ health care beyond his coverage or he dies - -

What will our government plan do?

What if he paid his fine and has no insurance?

What if he wants to buy insurance with a pre-existing condition (he is on his death bed)?

Will all this be explained before some health plan is shoved through?

These are the simplest of dilemmas that the private industry has come to terms with – maybe poorly - but the government can easily make it MUCH worse.


"Read the article. Better yet, read the TITLE. Its a LOAN not a gift."

Since it's just a loan, just get it from a bank with NO sales, NO business history, and only promises.
"These are the simplest of dilemmas that the private industry has come to terms with – maybe poorly - but the government can easily make it MUCH worse."

Private industry has NOT come to terms with US healthcare 'dilemmas' - that's unanimous. Nearly all European governments have better universal healthcare, healthier citizens, and longer lifespans.

These are decades of facts. Public health at less cost than for-profit, life & death US health insurance blackmail and inefficiency - 10% vs 16% average national GNP.


What's wrong with risk capital (on a loan basis) from the government to get a new product to the market and more so if it is an electrified vehicle?

The current USA health care system cost about 16% to 17% of the gross national product (about the most expensive in the world) but the results are very poor. Americans are not as healthy and do not live as long as people in most other industrial nations. Many nations with, much better health care, spend only 9% to 10% of their gross national product for it and everbody is covered. Americans are not getting nearly enough for their money. Cost keep going up with negative improvement in heath conditions. Is it a real anti-american (economic phylosophy) system. Why should sombody keep paying more to get less? Something has gone wrong somewhere in this private health care system.


The current health care system in the US is based on a flawed belief that health care is or can be a free market commodity. It is not. The consumer does not have the information to compare providers, or even insurance, does not have control over coverage, does not have choice between providers, and is not capable of evaluating choices, even if that information were available. Every insurance plan is a one-off custom plan tailored to each employer. Insurance companies have not long term interest in health or the end-user. Employers (the payers) have no long term stake in the health of employees, on the shareholders.

The solution is to take Congressmen and Senators (and their staffs) off the "public option" they are now on and make them shop for and pay for their own health insurance, just like every self employed person. Then things will change.



It's good to know others see the facts. US health insurance is for profit, not health. As the President said ,"..works best for the companies, not the insured."

No one knows what will be paid or if the "co-pay" will bankrupt them. That's neither insurance or security - and people don't rush to doctors for entertainment.

Concerning 'risk capital (on a loan basis)', a token attempt and business closing seems too tempting.


A fascinating M.D. wrote: http://www.counterpunch.org/simpson09212009.html noting that a third of medical costs are for unnecessary tests and other third for profit/admin.

I wish Fisker Automotive well. I just don't wish them $528.7 million tax dollars well.

Stan Peterson

The founders of Tesla can walk off into the sunset with 3/4 of a $ billion dollars of taxpayer money for having Lotus build a few hundred rich mans toys for them, by these incompetent bureaucrats. Why shouldn't the the Fisker founders who haven't yet built a single car, walk off with another half a billion dollars of your money? It only seems fair...

Meanwhile real car companies like Ford, GM and Chrysler, who actually build cars in the millions, are slowing and deferring the introduction of such vehicles because of lack of funds.

Ford and GM have received tiny pittances from the Fund Congress appropriated to "increase the fuel economy of autos, and speed the adoption of electric cars".
Chrysler has not received one single, thin, dime from the $25 Billion dollar pot of gold that DOE and Dr. (Fu Man) Chu are doling out to no-bodies, never-wheres and never-will-be, garage shop would-be auto builders.

The only requirement is to be politically connected...

Ah the benefits of nationalized, corporate, governance and central planning. It proved to work so well everywhere its been tried...

What's wrong with this picture?


"What's wrong with this picture?"

The the government/'Big 3' track record of wasting billions of tax dollars - PNGV 1993-2004, freedomCARS 2000-2008, etc. and not one production model.

2/3 of the 'Big 3' spend years failing in the market until bankruptcy - so the US also backs new horses - however risky.


I'm OK with govt encouragement of EV tech. But why can't some company come out with an effordable EV ? It should be small and have good range (50 - 100miles). Whoever hits the $15k price point will have a hit.


"The the government/'Big 3' track record and not one production model."
So we get the Tesla? A rich man's toy?

"But why can't some company come out with an effordable EV ? It should be small and have good range (50 - 100miles)."

Same reason we don't have a 400 mi AER EV costing $10k or a 35mpg Lexus or MB class ICE costing $8k.

You think it is because they would sell like hot cakes and not one single car company wants to sell lots of cars and make lots of money?


Remember the mazda miata? the original price was rock bottom (around 10k) but it was such a surprise hit that demand outran supplies and people were paying 18k for them.
No need to develop a completely new platform. take some existing platform and replace the drivetrain, make it an EV. Come to think of it the miata wouldn't be a bad place to start.


I assume that by the time they realized they had a big hit and tried to ramp production up the fad was over.

Or they just padded the options and raised the price, maybe there was almost no profit at the beginning.

Or both.

Do you think Mazda stopped selling the Miata or raised the price to stop the sales because they were making too much money and felt guilty?

Creating a surprise hit like the Mustang or Miata is essentially luck (that's why it is called a surprise).

As far as a half billion to Finland for the Fisker – INSANITY.

Qadir Tapra

experience the negative effects of over borrowing and tax-subsidized government funding until they graduate and enter the job market. easy online loans

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