The following story has been updated to reflect additional details and the claim by Fisker that production of the Karma plug-in hybrid continues despite the delays in receiving DoE loan money.
Already behind on deliveries and facing the need to renegotiate its $529 million in government loans, Fisker Automotive has laid off 26 workers at a plant in Delaware that was being geared up to produce the maker’s next battery car.
Another 40 Fisker employees and contractors working on the development of what is codenamed Project Nina have been released at Fisker’s officces in Anaheim, CA.
The automaker has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months, including a slow start-up of production of the $102,000 Karma, which is being imported from a plant in Finland. The plug-in also received a much lower fuel economy rating than had been anticipated following tests by the EPA. Concerns about the safety of the Karma also prompted a voluntary recall of the small number of hybrids that had already reached the U.S.
But the latest issue centers around the $529 million in loans Fisker was granted by the Department of Energy. It already received $193 million but the government is refusing to release additional money because the California-based start-up has missed several targets included in the loan agreement.