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Summary:

This sounds familiar: An alternative-fuel luxury sports car startup promises to get affordable green cars into production for the mass market — if the Department of Energy comes through with a loan. Back in November, the startup was Tesla Motors: CEO Elon Musk said Tesla could […]

This sounds familiar: An alternative-fuel luxury sports car startup promises to get affordable green cars into production for the mass market — if the Department of Energy comes through with a loan. Back in November, the startup was Tesla Motors: CEO Elon Musk said Tesla could set up manufacturing for batteries and the delayed Model S sedan in “a matter of months” with about $400 million in low-interest loans. (Musk has revealed a more exact figure, $350 million, for the sedan project since then.) Now we’re hearing a similar tune from Fisker Automotive.

fisker-karma

Henrik Fisker, founder and CEO of the Irvine, Calif.-based company, spoke with Reuters at the 79th International Motor Show in Geneva on Wednesday about a plan to refurbish a factory in the U.S. and develop a lower-cost, higher-volume plug-in hybrid car than its $87,900 Fisker Karma if DOE loans come through.

Fisker did not specify how much money the company has requested, but did offer a timeline for the project. According to the Reuters report:

“If we get the DOE loan we will start the project this year,” he said. “It could be in the market in as little as 26 months from when we start.”

As we noted last fall, when Tesla described its mass-market vehicle plans, more than a few hurdles stand between applicants and DOE loans. Interim rules established by the DOE favor projects involving manufacturing facilities that are at least 20 years old (a possible leg up for Fisker, given its scheme to refurbish a factory) and require that companies demonstrate financial viability for the term of the loan. Fisker got a vote of confidence from the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins this week in the form of $3 million to help secure an exclusive supply of battery technology. We’ll wait and see if the DOE follows suit.

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  1. I think they may have a tough time selling these cars at the initial price it was said but 87k looks more like it. I am not sure if anybody but the super-rich would take a chance on a six-figure electric car since they are not sure who could fix it in their area or if parts would even be available in lets say 4-5 years to fix it.

  2. This guy at Fisker is almost as arrogant as Barrack H. Obama. Put up or Shut up. He sounds like one of these Cellulosic Ethanol makers whose Production Plant is always 5 Years away. Maybe he could work for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and sell us some more investment packages and steal more of our tax dollars.

  3. Business Banking Monday, April 6, 2009

    Funny stuff Chip but I really agree with your take on it this wont happen any time soon but we will probably pay a ton of taxes on it.

  4. Fisker Bags $85M to Build Plug-in Hybrid Karma Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    [...] of its first vehicle, the luxury plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma. A Department of Energy loan still hangs in the balance for a lower-cost model, but the Irvine, Calif.-based startup has just announced $85 million in new [...]

  5. Fisker Eyes Simpler Engine as One Key to a Lower Cost Plug-in Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    [...] After all, they’re the most expensive part of today’s plug-ins. Fisker, which has pledged to deliver more affordable plug-ins in as little as two years if a Department of Energy loan comes through, said the engine also [...]

  6. Kleiner Perkins’ Latest Green Car Play: The Anti-Fisker Friday, May 29, 2009

    [...] investment in Fisker Automotive. While Fisker aims to produce affordable cars for the mass market if DOE loans come through, it is starting out with a high-end performance vehicle, the $87,900 plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma. [...]

  7. Ray Lane: Fisker to Make Major Announcement About $39K Plug-In Hybrid Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    [...] that mean that Fisker has received a Department of Energy loan? In March, Henrik Fisker, founder and CEO of the Irvine, Calif.-based company, said that Fisker plans to [...]

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