This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 28, 2009

Plug-In Hybrid Automaker to Reopen a GM Plant Using a DOE Loan


Photoshop illustration of the Fisker Karma, a muscular four-door sports car.

A DOE loan will help engineer the Fisker Karma, a plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Credit: Fisker Automotive

Vice President Joe Biden announced on October 27 that Fisker Automotive is re-opening a former General Motors Corporation (GM) factory in Wilmington, Delaware, to produce plug-in hybrid vehicles that can cruise about 300 miles on a single charge. Funding comes from part of a $528.7 million conditional loan awarded by DOE last month, the fourth conditional loan commitment under DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. Of the total Fisker loan, $359 million is going to revive manufacturing at the Boxwood Plant in Delaware in support of Fisker's NINA, a mass-market plug-in hybrid sedan. The company plans to build between 75,000 and 100,000 of the vehicles by 2014. The White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers played a key role in the revival of the Delaware plant. See the White House fact sheet on the agreement.

Fisker Automotive plans to use the remaining $169.3 million in ATVM loans for engineering work in Michigan and California to complete the company's first vehicle, the Fisker Karma; to develop manufacturing processes for the Boxwood Plant; and to design the tools and equipment for manufacturing its plug-in hybrids. Fisker automobiles are driven by electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery, and for long drives, the battery is supplemented by a generator, which is driven by a fuel-efficient gasoline engine.DOE will make additional loans under the ATVM program over the coming months to large and small auto manufacturers and parts suppliers. See the DOE press release and the ATVM Web site.

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