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Summary:

Washington is in the business of handing out money these days (see: bank bailout, auto bailout, stimulus), but when it comes to cutting checks for a Department of Energy program designed to support advanced vehicle manufacturing, the feds have taken nearly three years to get projects […]

Washington is in the business of handing out money these days (see: bank bailout, auto bailout, stimulus), but when it comes to cutting checks for a Department of Energy program designed to support advanced vehicle manufacturing, the feds have taken nearly three years to get projects moving. But according to a new Wall Street Journal interview with DOE chief Steven Chu, the stalling stops now. He wants money moving out the door within four weeks, not the additional the five months that people working on the program had planned.

The $25 billion in loans and loan guarantees, created as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and appropriated by Congress in 2006, could breathe new life into some of the more than 70 companies that have applied for funds, including electric car startups Tesla Motors, Integrity Automotive and Zap, and battery makers Ener1 and A123Systems. As recently as last month, a DOE spokesperson told us that applications were “under rigorous and thorough review,” and that the DOE was “moving with all deliberate speed in reviewing the applications, but any date by which we might make a decision would be pure speculation at this point.” Not anymore. Chu’s the boss, and with some $30-$40 billion expected to require spending (if only I had that problem) after the stimulus bill passes, he’s naming dates.

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  2. Nissan Pulls Back Electric Car Plans, Seeks DOE Loans « Earth2Tech Monday, February 9, 2009

    [...] the more than 70 companies — including startup Tesla Motors — seeking funds under the DOE loan program for manufacturing fuel-efficient and electric vehicles, Bloomberg reports. [...]

  3. Tesla Talks Up $350M in Loans, But Lingers in Limbo at DOE « Earth2Tech Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    [...] DOE loan program for advanced vehicle manufacturing. It’s not the four weeks Energy Secretary Steven Chu was hoping for, but it’s an improvement over what Konrad said was starting to look like a year-and-a-half [...]

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  6. Timeline Revealed for DOE Loan Program: Don’t Get Your Hopes Up « Earth2Tech Thursday, February 12, 2009

    [...] No Comments Posted February 12th, 2009 at 12:30 pm in Energy,Policy Energy Secretary Steven Chu wanted checks cut in four weeks. Today, the director of the Department of Energy’s much-delayed loan guarantee program for [...]

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  8. Chu Unveils DOE Changes, Timeline for Stimulus Energy Spending « Earth2Tech Thursday, February 19, 2009

    [...] under the Energy Policy Act of 2005) would take a few months to process — as opposed to the four weeks that Secretary Chu had mentioned as a goal earlier this month. Today’s announcement confirms Frantz’s [...]

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