2012 Fisker KarmaEnlarge Photo
Green energy and electric vehicles are an easy target for politicians at the best of times, but even more so when they fail, taking down millions in unpaid government loans with them.
Fisker Automotive isn't dead yet but it does owe the U.S. Department of Energy a large proportion of the $193 million it spent getting the Karma electric vehicle to market.
The House Oversight and Government Reform committee will meet on April 24, reports The Detroit News, to discuss the decision to award $529 million in loans to the struggling startup.
Much of the original figure was frozen in 2011, as Fisker failed to meet certain agreed deadlines in getting the Karma to market.
The mass dismissal also sees Fisker facing a lawsuit over failing to give adequate 60-day notice before laying off its employees.
In recent months the company has actively sought buyers and investors to quell financial difficulties, and many reports suggest Fisker is on the brink of bankruptcy.
The company is due to repay a proportion of the DoE loan by the end of April--and it isn't yet clear whether this target will be met. The Department would be the firm's top creditor should the company file for bankruptcy, and would have to decide what to do with the company.
The DoE has already had its fingers burned after solar company Solyndra folded last year, and last month announced it doesn't plan to award any more loans from the program--despite seven pending applications.
Rival automaker Tesla Motors announced last month it would pay off its own DoE loans, worth $465 million, five years earlier than scheduled, by 2017.