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Fisker Karma
Bulk of loan will be used for new Project Nina

Plug in hybrids are one of the technologies that the U.S. government is pushing strongly to reduce the need to import foreign oil and to reduce the overall pollution in our atmosphere. As part of the effort, billions in conditional loans are being handed out to automakers with stipulations that the money be used for hybrid development in America.

The latest carmaker to get a substantial amount of money is Fisker. The U.S. energy secretary Steven Chu announced yesterday that Fisker had been granted a $528 million loan for advanced vehicle technology development. Specifically the conditional loan is to be used for the development of two different plug-in hybrid lines.

The development of the two plug-in hybrid lines is expected to offset millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions and save hundreds of millions of gallons of gas. The new production and design work is expected to create or save about 5,000 jobs in America at parts suppliers.

"This investment will create thousands of new American jobs and is another critical step in making sure we are positioned to compete for the clean energy jobs of the future," said Secretary Chu. "Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles could revolutionize personal transportation and cut our dependence on foreign oil, not to mention give us cleaner air and less carbon pollution."

The $528 million loan was granted as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan program. Additional loans from the program will be granted in the coming months to small and large automakers alike.

Fisker will use $169.3 million of the loan funds for engineering integration costs as it works with U.S. suppliers to complete the Karma. The engineers will also design the tools and develop the manufacturing processes needed for production. The work will be conducted in the Fisker Pontiac, Michigan office. The final assembly of the Karma will be conducted overseas, but 65% of the Karma will be sourced from U.S. suppliers.

The bulk of the loan funds -- $359.36 million -- will be used for a project at Fisker called Project Nina. This project centers around the manufacture of a plug-in hybrid for the U.S. market and the estimate is that 75,000 to 100,000 of these will roll off assembly lines each year starting in 2012. Project Nina got its name from the ship Christopher Columbus used to discover the new world.

The upcoming Fisker Karma has a fuel economy rating of about 67 mpg.



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RE: I'm skeptical
By Spuke on 9/23/2009 12:13:17 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
That's a LOT of money for something that will probably never live up to the hype. Producing 75,000 to 100,000 cars year doesn't mean you're going to sell that many cars per year.
Unless this car is "cheap", it will never sell in those numbers, period. Lexus sells around 100,000 cars a year so with the majority of those sales being the RX (SUV). Base price of the RX is $37,250. Fisker will have to come in under that price, IMO, as they are unknown outside of enthusiast circles and will need to build their brand. Also, IMO, most of their initial sales will come from current BMW and Audi owners looking for something different. I don't think Lexus owners will be interested in Fisker's.


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