Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘doe loans’

Tesla, Chrysler Get into Sniping Match

Makers dispute who paid off the government first.

by on May.23, 2013

Tesla CEO Elon Musk boasts his automaker was first to completely pay off its federal loans.

It began with a seemingly innocuous statement from Tesla Motors but has quickly escalated into a spitting match with Detroit’s third-largest automaker, Chrysler.

On Wednesday, the battery-car start-up announced that it would pay back the remaining $451.8 million that it owes the U.S. Energy Department nine years ahead of schedule, using money it expects to raise from an upcoming, $1.1 billion stock offering.

The Last Word!

That prompted the irrepressible Elon Musk, the constantly tweeting Tesla CEO, to declare that Tesla will become “the only American car company to have fully repaid the government.”

Or will it? Not according to Chrysler.


With DoE Loan in Jeopardy, Fisker Preps “Plan B”

Start-up maker “confident” it can survive, thrive without government help.

by on Feb.14, 2012



Henrik Fisker with one of the first Karma plug-in hybrids. will offer the first full review of the new Fisker Karma on Wednesday. Make sure to come back.

Though California battery-car start-up Fisker Automotive continues to struggle to come up with a plan that will satisfy the Department of Energy and help it regain access to a promised, low-interest $528 million loan, Fisker’s founder said he is “confident” the company can move ahead even if it means tapping into the private equity market.

Earlier this month, Fisker revealed it would idle more than 65 workers at its suburban Los Angeles headquarters and Delaware assembly plant due to delays in the negotiations with the DoE.  But the maker countered reports that said it was halting production of its first plug-in hybrid model, the Fisker Karma.


In the Know!

If anything, production is now ramping up, said the maker’s founder, Henrik Fisker, during a series of conversations that accompanied the first full media drive of the 4-seat Karma sports car. But while the Karma was designed to get Fisker  Automotive noticed, the bigger challenge will be to bring the maker’s next product, codenamed Project Nina, to market. And that is going to require significant infusions of cash, he cautioned.


Electric Carmaker Aptera Pulls the Plug

Short of cash, start-up battery-car maker will be shutting down.

by on Dec.03, 2011

Aptera's little battery car won't be making it into production as the California start-up shuts its doors.

After raising only a fraction of the money it needed to put its aircraft-like 2e battery-car into production, California start-up Aptera has had to pull the plug on its ambitious goal of becoming a major player in the coming market for electric vehicles.

The Southern California firm had been counting on receiving a federal loan to cover most of the $150 million it said it needed to launch production of the three-wheeled, highly aerodynamic 2e, which looks much like a private aircraft minus the wings.

But the government failed to come up with funding as the Department of Energy loan program came under increasing fire – an issue that saw the DoE back out of assisting another California automotive ‘s goalstart-up, San Diego-based Next Autoworks.  (Click Here for that story.) Turning to other sources, Aptera had so far only been able to raise $40 million.

Subscribe Now! It's Free!

“After years of focused effort to bring our products to the market, Aptera Motors is closing its doors, effective today,” Aptera Chairman Paul Wilbur said in a statement announcing the battery-car maker’s decision. “This is a difficult time for everyone connected with our company because we have never been closer to realizing our vision. Unfortunately, though, we are out of resources.”


GOP Scraps Plan to Cut into Federal Green Car Fund

Tesla now plans to ask for a second DoE loan.

by on Sep.27, 2011

A DoE loan has helped Tesla move ahead on the Model S but the start-up now hopes to get more cash.

A $25 billion fund created during the Bush Administration to help promote the development of clean, fuel-efficient automobiles has survived an assault by Republican lawmakers who had hoped to chip away $1.5 billion for use in disaster relief efforts.

Conservatives, particularly in the House, have been questioning the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program since it was picked up and championed by the Obama Administration.  With the government running a deep deficit they’d hoped to divert some of the fund for relief efforts – including assistance to one of the key Republican’s own state.

Inside News!

But with the White House refusing to give in, that effort has been abandoned – for now.  With the program going slower than anticipated, even some clean car advocates are questioning its value and observers say the DoE program could yet face cuts – or even be killed off entirely as the budget debate drags on.