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Posts Tagged ‘energy department loans’

Bright Automotive Pulls the Plug

Latest electric vehicle maker to shut down.

by on Mar.01, 2012

The Bright IDEA plug-in truck was designed to deliver 40 miles on battery, 36 mpg on gas -- and target a segment that generated nearly 1 million annual sales.

Ambitious electric vehicle maker Bright Automotive, which initially lured in the financial support of General Motors, has pulled the plug, the latest casualty in the shake-out of the still-emerging battery-car market.

Bright blames its demise on its failure to secure a Department of Energy loan needed to bring a planned plug-in hybrid delivery van to market.

The failure of the suburban Detroit start-up comes months after the collapse of Aptera, a California electric vehicle wannabe that had hoped to market an aircraft-like battery-electric vehicle.  Like Bright, it had failed to secure the necessary financing to translate its plans into production.

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Critics contend the nascent battery car industry is in danger of short-circuiting as the DoE reins in a once lavish program to provide funding for an array of battery car programs.  The government has provided some support to a handful of makers, including established automotive giants Ford and Nissan, as well as some start-ups, notably California’s Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive.


GOP Targets DoE Battery Car Loan Program

Energy independence falling victim to budget austerity.

by on Sep.20, 2011

A DoE loan program that is helping put the new Tesla Model S battery car on the road could be cut to pay for storm damage relief.

A Department of Energy program designed to promote the development of a new generation of battery cars could have its funding cut as part of the effort to rein in the federal budget deficit.

Republican leaders are proposing to shift money away from the federally-guaranteed loan program to help cover the cost of repairing recent storm damage in states such as Virginia – though proponents of the loan program contend the GOP is sacrificing the nation’s need to increase its energy independence.  Critics worry that the proposal by House Republicans to slice $1.5 billion in Section 136 loans will hurt efforts to create auto manufacturing jobs.

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The Section 136 Loans were created in 2007 with bipartisan support to promote innovation and research in new automotive technologies before the auto bailout in 2009.  But energy independence could now fall victim to budget austerity.