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Summary:

Just as Kleiner Perkins investor and former Oracle president Ray Lane let slip last week, electric vehicle startup Fisker has some big news about how it will build a $39,000 plug-in hybrid vehicle. This morning, the Department of Energy announced that it has awarded Fisker a […]

fiskerkarmaJust as Kleiner Perkins investor and former Oracle president Ray Lane let slip last week, electric vehicle startup Fisker has some big news about how it will build a $39,000 plug-in hybrid vehicle. This morning, the Department of Energy announced that it has awarded Fisker a $528.7 million loan that will help it both build its first plug-in car, the Fisker Karma, and start working on “Project Nina,” a plug-in hybrid car that it plans to build in the United States and manufacture at a volume of 75,000 to 100,000 per year starting in 2012.

While the DOE announcement didn’t include the price of Project Nina, Fisker has repeatedly said that it plans to build a plug-in vehicle that’s cheaper and higher-volume than its $87,900 Fisker Karma, on the condition that it receives a DOE loan. Looks like the plan is on track. The DOE called the funding the fourth “conditional loan” (the company needs to meet some conditions before it becomes official) from the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program.

Back in June, Fisker competitor Tesla also received $465 million in loans from the same ATVM program. At the same time, the DOE gave most of a total of $8 billion in loan commitments to large car companies, including a whopping $5.9 billion to help Ford retool factories and $1.6 billion to Nissan North America to retool its Smyrna, Tenn., factory to build electric cars and batteries. These DOE loans have been delayed for awhile, but Energy Secretary Steven Chu made it clear earlier this year that he wanted these committed ASAP.

Fisker plans to use $169.3 million of its loan to work with U.S. suppliers to produce the more expensive Fisker Karma, which will be developed at its Michigan and California offices, but then will be assembled “overseas.” The other $359.36 million will go toward producing Fisker’s Project Nina, which will be entirely manufactured in the United States.

Fisker, which was founded in 2007 and has raised about $100 million in venture-capital funding, plans to become profitable in 2011.

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  1. Myers’ Mainstream Electric Vehicle Ambition: Add a Seat Thursday, September 24, 2009

    [...] like Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive have launched their businesses with high-end sports cars (with plans for cheaper vehicles in the works), companies like Myers Motors started with a three-wheeled vehicle that only carries one passenger [...]

  2. After a Bitter Feud, Hybrid Car Startup GreenTech Plans $6.5B Plant Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    [...] to financing, Yeung and Wang eyed a different route before their split than Tesla or competitor Fisker Automotive, which have scored awards of more than $465 million each in low-interest loans from the U.S. [...]

  3. college student Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    I used to think that Tesla had everyone beat when it came to making a really attractive electric car, but the Fisker Karma takes the cake. Looks almost like a four-door Aston-Martin in every way in which that is awesome. Anyone have projected performance stats on this thing?

  4. Fisker Set to Buy GM Plant to Build Low-cost Plug-in Electric Vehicle Monday, October 26, 2009

    [...] plug-in hybrid vehicle developer Fisker, it’s that the young startup moves quickly. A month after securing a $528.7 million loan from the Department of Energy, Fisker is reportedly in advanced talks to buy an old 3.2 [...]

  5. Fisker Details Plans for “Project Nina” at Old GM Plant, Eyes Exports Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    [...] Project Nina — the $47,400 plug-in hybrid vehicle that startup Fisker Automotive aims to launch in 2012 — has a home. The Irvine, Calif.-based startup announced this morning that it will buy an old General Motors assembly plant in Wilmington, Del., for $18 million drawing funds from the $528.7 million conditional loan it received from the Department of Energy last month. Word got out yesterday that Fisker was in advanced talks to buy the GM facility for the project, and a White House insider told Reuters that Vice President Joe Biden would be on hand at the shuttered facility this morning to announce its reopening. Now we’ve got details. [...]

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  7. Fisker Bumps Karma Launch to 2010, Expects Battery Deal This Month Friday, December 4, 2009

    [...] name of a battery supplier for Fisker’s upcoming models, including the $87,900 Karma and the Project Nina sedan, expected to carry a price tag of around [...]

  8. Jeniffer Mathews Tuesday, December 29, 2009

    Hi,

    Just found this post my Tecnorati Social network Top News feed Section, really interesting post. Keep it up.

    Jennifer

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  10. A123Systems Links With Fisker: $23M and Battery Deal Thursday, January 14, 2010

    [...] government. In addition to raising about $100 million in venture capital, Fisker has secured $529 million loan from the Department of Energy to help it build the Karma (scheduled to begin deliveries this fall) and start working on Project [...]

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