Will Fisker Ask For Rest Of Its Stalled DoE Low-Interest Loan?

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2012 Fisker Karma in Costco parking lot, Santa Monica, California [photo: Chris Williams]

2012 Fisker Karma in Costco parking lot, Santa Monica, California [photo: Chris Williams]

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For Fisker Automotive these days, no news is probably good news.

Its latest CEO, Tony Posawatz, has been at the helm for four months now.

And Fisker is putting all its efforts toward developing and producing its next model, the Atlantic mid-size sport sedan, by late 2014.

In a recent Fox News interview, Posawatz offered hints that Fisker may try to get access to the rest of its Department of Energy low-interest loan for that purpose.

"We do need a little more funding to take that next step" and put the Atlantic into production at its plant in Wilmington, Delaware, Posawatz told Fox.

"We are having discussions with the DoE on what's next," Posawatz said, "now that we're post-election."

But, he said, Fisker really had "nothing yet to report on in that regard."

The loan under the DoE's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program was frozen early in 2011 after Fisker missed numerous deadlines for putting its Karma range-extended electric luxury sedan into production.

At that point, the company had received $190 million of the total $529 million commitment, which was split between funds to launch the Karma and those to develop the Atlantic.

While it recently completed a round of private financing, bringing its total cash raised to more than $1 billion, the company likely needs more cash to get the Atlantic into volume production.

Now that the presidential election is over--and the candidates are no longer calling startup electric-car companies like Fisker "losers"--the landscape has changed.

Volt Line Director Tony Posawatz

Volt Line Director Tony Posawatz

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Posawatz gave no more details about what Fisker felt the DoE might require to release the Atlantic development funds, saying only, "I think we're gonna have some discussions with the Department of Energy."

Beyond that, he said, there's "nothing really to report on that right now."

The post-election fate of the DoE's ATVM loan program is a topic of much curiosity these days, since less than $9 billion of the $25 billion allocated under president George W. Bush has been granted in loans.

The program's four largest recipients were Ford, Nissan, and Tesla, soon followed by Fisker.

The last such award was a $50 million loan granted to Vehicle Production Group in November 2010.


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