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Advanced Auto-Tech Loans Go To Tesla, Ford, and Nissan

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Ford Motor Company's EcoBoost V-6 engine, 3.5-liters

Ford Motor Company's EcoBoost V-6 engine, 3.5-liters

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US Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the first three loans to be granted under the government's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program.

The lucky winners, totaling $8 billion worth of low-interest loans from the US Department of Energy: Ford, Nissan, and Tesla.

FORD

  • Amount: $5.9 billion
  • Work Funded: Retooling of manufacturing facilities in Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio through 2011, including conversion of two truck plants to assemble automobiles.
  • Vehicles: 13 separate models with electric, hybrid, or improved conventional powertrains, including its EcoBoost turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engines

NISSAN

  • Amount: $1.6 billion
  • Work Funded: Retooling of Smyrna, Tennessee, assembly plant to build electric cars; creation of advanced lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant
  • Vehicles: 2012 Nissan EV (which may be unveiled at this fall's Frankfurt Motor Show), other models

TESLA

  • Amount: $465 million
  • Work Funded: Production engineering and, starting in late 2011, assembly of the Model S electric sports sedan; creation of a California facility to assemble electric battery systems for use in its own vehicles and for supply to other manufacturers
  • Vehicles: 2012 Tesla Model S sedan

The legislation that established the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program was passed in December 2007, and Congress appropriated the $25 billion in funds last fall.

The loans must go toward establishing production facilities in the United States for advanced powertrains and/or vehicles. Significantly, loans cannot be granted to any company that would not be a viable concern without the money.

That means that General Motors and Chrysler, both of which have applied for loans, will have to cross some hurdles to prove they are viable automakers. Chrysler has just emerged from bankruptcy and is now controlled by Italy's Fiat; GM is currently in bankruptcy.

We'll take a deeper look at this announcement within a day or two. We hope to provide some context on what these loans mean for the US auto industry, industrial competitiveness, and the types of vehicles offered for sale to meet the increased 2016 fuel-economy standards.

Nissan EV-02 prototype

Nissan EV-02 prototype

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2012 Tesla Model S prototype

2012 Tesla Model S prototype

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Comments (3)
  1. Government loans are always needed whether its Nissan, Ford, Tesla or anyother small or big bussinesses as far as they are justified
     
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  2. I agree they are needed but to invest this money in hybrids is good for the car manufacturer you will know what i am talking about when one of these cars breaks. Overall these cars will not last as long as cars of today also when trying to fix your car you are going to find the price will go alot higher.
     
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  3. Why is V Vehicle omitted from this funding? Nissan is a French/Japanese company and V Vehicle is a pure U.S. venture. The U.S. Government needs to stop funding foreign companies over U.S. companies. Why is our government doing this? This is very disturbing...
     
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