South Dakota Senator Aims to Eliminate Loan Program for Fuel-Efficient Autos
September 19, 2013 10:55 AM
comment(s) - last by
This is the same program that funded Fisker Automotive
South Dakota's Republican senator wants to terminate
the federal loan program
that gave millions of dollars to
-- an automaker that has failed to produce a car in over a year and is now missing loan payments to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
The Detroit News
, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) wants to get rid of the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program due to failures like Fisker Automotive wasting taxpayer money. He has already proposed an amendment that would “permanently end the ATVM program and save taxpayers from paying for more of President Obama’s bad green-energy bets.”
Thune's amendment comes after the DOE said it would auction off Fisker Automotive's $168 million unpaid loan earlier this week. DOE plans to launch the auction in early October.
Fisker Automotive is an auto startup that received $529 million in
back in April 2010. However, Fisker fell a little behind on its production schedule, and in May 2011,
DOE froze the loans due to "unmet milestones."
Fisker had only drawn $193 million of it at that point. It hasn't been able to build a car since July 2012, and started looking for a buyer so it doesn't have to claim bankruptcy.
But Fisker isn't the only auto company that failed after receiving money from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. Vehicle Production Group LLC -- which is a Michigan-based startup building wheelchair-accessible compressed natural gas vehicles -- was awarded $50 million in loans back in March 2011, but has since halted production.
Senator John Thune
DOE sold its unpaid $50 million loan for Vehicle Production Group LLC to AM General for $3 million earlier this month. According to The Detroit News, taxpayers lost about $42 million on that sale.
The Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program was created by Congress in 2007 in an effort to reach the goal of 1 million EVs on U.S. roads by 2015, but the program hasn't made a new loan since March 2011. This is mainly due to the fact that two of the five companies (Fisker and Vehicle Production Group) that received government loans stopped production.
The Obama administration received a lot of flak for these failures, but the program wasn't all bad. The other three loans -- $5.9 billion to Ford, $1.4 billion to Nissan and $465 million to EV startup Tesla Motors -- proved to be successful. Tesla even managed to pay its full sum back
nine years early
, which was a great feat for a startup.
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said last month that the Obama administration is interested in
reviving the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program
. He noted that it plans to draw a new round of loan requests (but is not actively considering any applications for retooling loans) and reexamine its lending criteria in order to avoid problems it encountered in the past.
The Detroit News
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
9/19/2013 11:51:34 AM
Let's go right to the center of the pork --- the waste of $300B for the F-35 that even the military doesn't want. The only ones who want this are Congress to ensure their state gets their really fat pork.
There are a lot of things we'd be better off spending $300B on than these.
RE: F-35 $300B
9/19/2013 12:26:04 PM
Yup, Congress is spending like we are still in the cold war.
RE: F-35 $300B
9/19/2013 2:02:06 PM
Agree completely. Less money on war and more money at home.
RE: F-35 $300B
9/19/2013 5:47:00 PM
Be a little be careful though. All those soldiers coming home will want jobs. Will yours be one of them ? Will your employer, will all the cheap labor suddenly available, be as willing to give you a raise or pay a little more for your health insurance ? And don't forget that US defense contractors must employee US citizens so those $$ spent on defense are coming here to the US, not to China for cheap TVs. Sales of aircraft and other defense goods to foreign countries means they are paying for some the wages paid to the factory worker here in the US.
So yes, cut down on the unnecessary spending but be careful how an how fast you do it. You may not like all the unintended consequences.
BTW just when would you think about replacing the F-15 and F-18s with a newer design ? Would you wait like we have for the B-52 ?
"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
Obama Admin Looks to Restore $25B Advanced Technology Vehicle Loan Program
August 27, 2013, 12:33 PM
The Fall of Fisker Automotive: A $35,000 Loss on Each Karma, Lavish Spending and Misinformation
June 17, 2013, 5:03 PM
Tesla Repays $465 Million DOE Loan 9 Years Early
May 22, 2013, 10:20 PM
House Committee Looks into Terms of DOE's Fisker Automotive Loans
October 23, 2012, 2:50 PM
Fisker Loses Access to DOE Loan, Lays Off Delaware Factory Employees
February 7, 2012, 11:31 AM
Study Predicts Self-Driving Vehicles Could Rake in Billions
March 6, 2015, 8:34 AM
Dual-Motor Tesla Model S P85D's "Insane Mode" Shocks Passengers
January 28, 2015, 11:18 PM
2016 Cadillac CTS-V Packs 640 hp Punch with 200 mph Reach
January 23, 2015, 3:25 PM
BMW Testing Tech to Allow Users to Auto-Park, Summon Cars Via Smartwatch
December 16, 2014, 9:30 AM
Lamborghini Offers Up $6,000 Leather-Bound Android Smartphone
December 12, 2014, 3:12 PM
Quick Note: GM Teases Next Generation Chevrolet Volt
November 20, 2014, 3:26 PM
Most Popular Articles
America's Largest Cable Company, Comcast, Sees Internet Subscriptions Pass TV
May 4, 2015, 2:46 PM
Hot Microsoft Lumia 940 Shows Off Benchmark, Fall Launch w/ Windows 10 Eyed
May 29, 2015, 7:15 PM
Editorial: Apple Say Watch is "Not [Selling] Enough" -- What's Gone Wrong?
May 29, 2015, 11:11 AM
Study Shows Prior Owner's Data is Easy to Recover From Used Android Phones
May 26, 2015, 9:54 PM
Samsung and Marvel Team Up for Slick Iron Man Avengers GS6 Edge
May 27, 2015, 10:54 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information