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Fisker woes deepen

Things aren't going well for electric automaker Fisker. The company was expected to file for bankruptcy protection this month and was forced to lay off 75% of its workforce. The unexpected slashing of its workforce led to a suit by former employees. Today we learned that Fisker has failed to make its first $10 million payment to the Energy Department to repay the massive federal loan it was given.

A spokesperson from the Energy Department named Aoife McCarthy said that the federal government earlier this month recouped $21 million of the $192 million it loaned Fisker.

"Given the obvious difficulties the company is facing, we are taking strong and appropriate action on behalf of taxpayers," McCarthy said.

"Using the safeguards we write into our loan agreements, the department stopped disbursing on the loan in June 2011 after the company, taking a significant chunk of taxpayer money with it short of the aggressive milestones that we had established as a condition of the loan," she said. "As a result, while our original loan commitment was for $529 million, only $192 million was actually disbursed."

Fisker’s current and former CEOs are set to testify at House hearing this week about the struggles with the automotive manufacturer. Along with the automotive executives from Fisker, Energy Department supervisory senior investment officer for loans program office, Nicholas Whitcombe, will also be testifying.

The Obama administration approved Fisker for the $529 million federal loan in 2010. The automaker produced only 2,500 of its plug-in hybrid sedans at an estimated cost of $660,000 each when federal and private funds are considered.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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RE: Crony Capitalism
By hartleyb on 4/23/2013 1:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
One of the items that is always missed in this argument beyond lack of customer demand is infrastructure. I wouldn't mind owning an electric car if it was reasonably priced and I could charge it at work, or in town. The reason no new energy policy has ever worked is the government hasn't put in place an infrastructure to support alternatives. For example (very Simplified), put in hydrogen pumps at all stations, and before you know it you will have people driving hydrogen powered cars. The consumer wants electric powered or alternative fuel vehicles, but there has to be an infrastructure to support it. You can't even take 99.9% of these cars to a local mechanic, because there are no parts on hand, and in many cases no parts via any kind of normal supply chain.

If you want electric or alternative fuel cars:

1. Build an infrastructure (Charging stations or alternative fuel stations across the country).
2. Start off providing cars that are electric, but have gas generators for when there is no charging station available, or if the distance is way beyond the battery capacity.
3. Put in place supply lines for parts and accessories.
4. Reduce cost (Maybe a turn in your gas powered car and get a specific price break type of program)
4. The only way 1-4 will happen is if you get the oil companies to build, and charge, for the infrastructure and power, or the oil companies will continue to lobby congress to vote against any normal expansion of electric vehicles.

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