Fisker Receives $528M in DOE Loans

The U.S. Department of Energy announced a $528.7 million conditional loan for Fisker Automotive for the development of two lines of plug-in hybrids vehicles.

In the first stage of the program, Fisker Automotive will use a $169.3 million Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (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% (based on cost) of the parts required for Karma will come from U.S. suppliers, like General Motors. 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 vehicles will roll off assembly lines in the U.S. every year beginning in late 2012.

The project is expected to result in approximately 5,000 green jobs created or saved for domestic parts suppliers and thousands more to manufacture a plug-in hybrid in the U.S.

Fisker automobiles are driven by electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery, or, when that is depleted, a generator driven by an efficient gasoline engine. Using gas and electric power, Fisker plug-in hybrids are designed to have a cruising range of about 300 miles.

“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 Energy Secretary Stephen 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.”

This is the fourth conditional loan commitment the Department of Energy has entered into under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan program.

Fisker rival Tesla Motors received $465 million in the first round of loans announced in June.

The Department plans to make additional loans under this program over the coming months to large and small auto manufacturers and parts suppliers up and down the production supply chain.

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