Print 68 comment(s) - last by cruisin3style.. on Feb 8 at 5:18 PM

Fisker Karma  (Source:
A total of 26 employees were laid off

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) pulled the plug on a federal loan it provided to Fisker Automotive, forcing the automaker to stop work on a Delaware factory.

California-based Fisker Automotive, known for the $102,000 Karma plug-in and the Nina midsize sedan, received a total of $529 million in loans from DOE in April 2010. The loans were part of a program to progress development of high-tech vehicles, where Fisker received $169 million for Karma engineering and $359 million for Nina production. The loans were also meant to revamp a closed General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware for Fisker auto production. So far, Fisker has drawn down $193 million from its loans.

Fisker has been behind schedule on selling its first auto here in the U.S., and in May 2011, DOE blocked the loans previously provided to the automaker due to "unmet milestones." According to Damien LaVera, DOE only allows Fisker to use the loan if the auto company upholds its end of the deal and shows results. However, Fisker has been a little behind.

The lack of access to loans has affected work on the Delaware factory. In fact, work on the auto factory has now been halted, and 26 people were laid off.

"It's been frustrating that Fisker and the Department of Energy weren't able to come to terms on the revisions to the loan in time to avoid this," said Brian Selander, a spokesman for Delaware Governor Jack Markell. "I'd say the project is on hold while the two sides try to get things sorted out."

DOE seems to be a bit more cautious of who it provides its financial offerings to after the series of alternative energy failures through 2011 and 2012. In September 2011, Silicon Valley-based solar panel company Solyndra filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $535 million loan from DOE in 2009. Government officials reportedly warned the administration about Solyndra's viability back at that time, but these warnings were set aside to meet political deadlines.

In November 2011, Beacon Power, a company that creates flywheels to store power and increase grid efficiency by preventing blackouts, filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $43 million loan guarantee from DOE in August 2010.

Just last month, auto electric battery maker Ener1, whose EnerDel subsidiary received a $118.5 million DOE grant in August 2009, filed for bankruptcy.

Electric vehicles haven't had a great year, either. Last year, General Motors' Chevrolet Volt was heavily criticized after three Volts sparked or caught fire in a series of side-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Fisker had some battery issues of its own as well back in December 2011, where over 200 Karma's were recalled.

Also, somewhat similar to Fisker's factory situation, an Indiana Think City EV plant has been sitting stagnant after failing to produce the Think City EVs, which are tiny two-seater EVs manufactured by Think Global.

Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker said the company sent 225 Karmas to dealers in December, with another 1,200 on the way.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By kattanna on 2/7/2012 1:54:47 PM , Rating: 2
simple. it was a failure. and in its 1st year, 1997, it actually only sold around 300 total units. and they continued to lose money even though in 1998/1999 they sold 17K and 15K units.

the only thing that made it a success is the fact that toyota stuck with it for years and started selling it outside the japanese market, in 2000, before sales finally stated to amount to something that then made it profitable and allowed it to become the success we see today.

it wasnt until its 4th or 5th year that they started to make money off of it.

so.. is the volt a failure, you bet. the question is does GM have the cojones to hang in there for the long haul to see if this could be a success?

and to call it anything but the failure it is is simply deluding oneself with short sighted feel good euphemisms

RE: The media hurt the Volt not the crashes
By Shig on 2/7/2012 2:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
With that logic, cell phones, computers, the automobile itself, the internet, CD players, etc were all failures because they weren't wildly successful and insanely profitable the first year.

By kattanna on 2/7/2012 2:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
LOL !! man you remind me of this really old saying

trying to win an argument on the internet is like running in the special olympics, even if you win, your still a retard

its a horrible saying to be sure, but it certainly pertains to you.

go be an ignorant troll somewhere else


By Trisped on 2/7/2012 2:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Product failure ranges from failure to sell the product to fracture of the product, in the worst cases leading to personal injury, the province of forensic engineering.

By my understanding of the word, the Prius is not a failure. That it did not do well its first year is true. The Volt, also did not do well its first year, but there is still hope that it will become a popular and successful model.

By Keeir on 2/7/2012 7:45:22 PM , Rating: 2
Try more like 7 years. It wasn't until the 5th year they started making a marginal profit.

The real "profit" of the Prius is that it was a Halo product that convinced the US and Japanese public that Toyota sold fuel efficient cars, regardless of the facts of the situation. Given the mix of Toyota models actually available (in the US), Toyota is really only middling when it comes to fuel economy especially from 2005-2010.

As a Halo product Prius might have been work 100 dollars per car sold. Thats where the big profit is/has been. Image creation.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Snapchat’s New Sunglasses are a Spectacle – No Pun Intended
September 24, 2016, 9:02 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki