Fisker Gets Half-Billion Dollars (!) Loan from Department of Energy

fisker karma electric car photo

Photo: Michael Graham Richard
Big News for Plug-In Hybrid Maker Fisker Automotive
First, Tesla got a low-interest loan ($465 million) from the Department of Energy (DOE), and now it's Fisker's turn. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a $528.7 million (!) conditional loan for the development of two lines of plug-in hybrids. The DOE says that "the project will result in approximately 5,000 jobs created or saved for domestic parts suppliers and thousands more to manufacture a plug-in hybrid in the U.S."
fisker karma sunset s convertible electric car photo

Photo: Michael Graham Richard

From the DOE release:

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 U.S. suppliers to complete the company's first vehicle, the Fisker Karma. 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 percent (based on cost) of the parts required for Karma will come from U.S. 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, involving the manufacture of a plug-in hybrid in the U.S. Fisker estimates that up to 75,000-100,000 of these highly efficient vehicles will roll off assembly lines in the U.S. every year beginning in late 2012. The combined projects are anticipated to create thousands of jobs in the U.S. and provide substantial support for domestic parts suppliers saving or creating approximately 5,000 jobs.

"Project Nina" is no doubt what we wrote about here: Fisker Working on $39,000 Plug-in Hybrid to be Sold in 2012, Made in USA

As with Tesla, the first EV is important because it paves the way and allows early adopters to pay for development of better and cheaper technology. The Karma will be an important car if it performs as promised, but Fisker's less expensive second vehicle will be the one to watch...

See our Fisker Karma Plug-in Hybrid slideshow!

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