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

April 28, 2010

DOE Closes on its $529 Million Loan to Fisker Automotive

Photo of a sleek, sporty four-door sedan.

A DOE loan will help launch the Fisker Karma, a plug-in hybrid that should appear in showrooms this summer, as well as a future plug-in hybrid from the same company.
Credit: Fisker Automotive

DOE announced on April 23 the closing of a $528.7 million loan with Fisker Automotive for the development and production of two lines of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The loan will support the Karma, a full-size, four-door luxury sports sedan expected in showrooms in late 2010, and a line of family-oriented models being developed under the company's Project NINA program. The Karma and Project NINA models will have an all-electric range of 40 to 50 miles on a full charge and will be able to travel up to 300 miles with the aid of their fuel-efficient gasoline-powered engines. The loan is being provided through DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program (ATVM).

Fisker, a southern California startup, expects to manufacture the vehicles at a recently shuttered General Motors Corporation (GM) factory in Wilmington, Delaware, where Fisker expects to employ 2,000 U.S. assembly workers. Part of the loan will be used to purchase and retool the former GM plant to manufacture the Project NINA line, which is expected to begin rolling off the assembly line in late 2012. Fisker's plug-in hybrid products will be among the first to market and will help to accelerate the introduction of fuel-saving electrified vehicles in the United States. Fisker estimates annual sales at up to 115,000 vehicles when full production is attained in 2015. This is the fourth loan arrangement signed by DOE with an advanced technology vehicle manufacturer, with previous loans going to Ford Motor Company, Nissan, and Tesla Motors. Combining Fisker projected sales volumes with the expected sales volumes of the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S electric vehicles yields more than 300,000 advanced vehicles per year, all of which were partially funded with DOE loans. See the DOE press release, DOE's ATVM Web site, and the Fisker Web site.