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Posts Tagged ‘solyndra’

Chrysler Withdraws Federal Green Car Loan Request

“Why am I bothering?”

by on Feb.17, 2012

Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne hinted to reporters at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show he might withdraw the DoE loan application.

Chrysler Group LLC has withdrawn its application for an Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan from the U.S Department of Energy.

The maker originally had hoped to receive as much as $7 billion through the program, designed to assist in the development of advanced, high-mileage powertrain technologies – in the process reducing U.S. dependence on imported petroleum.  It applied shortly after emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, but distribution of funds has largely been put on hold as the ATVM program has become caught up in Washington’s increasingly partisan politics.

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Ford was able to secure a loan, as was Japanese automaker Nissan and a number of solar panel manufacturers and battery companies.  However, the loan program, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007, has come in for heavy criticism from tea party Republicans after the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a Calfornia-based solar panel manufacturer, which received a $500 million loan.


Ener1 in Chapter 11 Despite Federal Energy Grant

Both Democrats and GOP could face political fall-out.

by on Jan.27, 2012

Ener1's finances took a serious turn for the worse when major client Think went broke last year - the Think City battery car shown here.

Ener1 Inc., the ambitious New York-based maker of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage, has filed for bankruptcy despite receiving $118 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy — and lavish-support from the Republican-controlled state of Indiana, home to one of the company’s principal factories.

The “pre-packaged” bankruptcy was filed after the company reached agreement with its primary investors and lenders on a restructuring plan “that will significantly reduce its debt and provide up to $81 million to recapitalize the company,” Ener1 officials said in a statement released after the filing.

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Though Ener1 expects to continue operating and still hopes to eventually profit as battery car demand grows its bankruptcy filing could turn into a political football with both Democrats and Republicans pointing fingers.

The company’s statement said Ener1 expected to maintain its current employment level of approximately 700 and eventually repay creditors.  It has 275 employees in Indiana.


Can Next Autoworks Survive Without DoE Loan?

Washington’s political quagmire taking toll on start-ups.

by on Nov.23, 2011

Next Autoworks has developed a low-cost, spaceframe-based small car.

Next Autoworks is scrambling to see if there’s a way to raise some desperately needed capital after withdrawing its request for a Department of Energy loan, money the automotive start-up was counting on to begin producing a new line of low-cost, high-volume cars.

After getting earlier indications that the loan request under the DoE’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program would likely go through, Next was given word, earlier this week that the application would instead be rejected.  Sources close to the project suggest Next – and others seeking DoE loans – have been hamstrung by the political turmoil in Washington.

Power Up!

“New companies with new ideas are the lifeblood of future job creation in the United States,” said Kathleen  Ligocki, Next Autoworks Company’s CEO and a one-time senior executive at Ford Motor Co. “The most powerful funding combination is one of public-private partnership, especially in capital-intensive manufacturing industries which have the most power for permanent employment for the broadest group of people. Still, in the current reality, there are many demands on public capital and choices must be made.”