This afternoon in Dearborn, Michigan at Ford's Research and Innovation Center, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu announced three recipients of DOE loans for advanced vehicle technologies.  The loans amount to a little over $8 billion and are aimed at developing fuel efficient vehicles.

 The recipients include Ford who will receive $5.9 billion in loans, Nissan at $2.1 billion and Tesla Motors at $465 million.  Each recipient can choose how they will use the funds provided that they go towards developing fuel efficient vehicles.

Ford intends to use their funds to upgrade 5 existing factories scattered throughout the Midwest.  The factories will produce 13 different fuel efficient vehicles in the coming years.

Nissan will use their funding towards retooling their facility in Smyrna, Tennessee to produce advanced technology vehicles.  They will also set aside a portion of the funds to build a battery manufacturing facility.

Tesla intends to use their funds to build electric vehicles and develop new electric vehicles at their current facility in California.  They will use $365 million for production of the Model S and $100 million for a powertrain plant that could employ 650 additional workers.

With dozens of companies applying for funds from the government program, Ford, Nissan, and Tesla have come out as winners in the process.  Additional funds are still available from the government as the entire project should include up to $38 billion in funding.  For now, only the three companies listed above have received funding, but more could come soon.

The goal of the program started by the DOE is to help companies achieve the new fuel efficiency standards of 35 mpg by the year 2020.

What about GM and Chrysler?  For now they are out of the picture as a company must be financially stable to receive funds.  But Secretary Chu is in discussions with both companies in regards to receiving the loans at some point in the future.  He spoke with Chrysler about details of the loan they were requesting and reviewed technical elements of the loan with GM.

With money in hand, the three companies have a jump start on the others.  They will use the money in hopes of bringing fuel efficient vehicles to market as soon as possible with the loans providing them with the assistance needed right now.

Source:  Associated Press