Fisker Automotive Adds on $21.5M in Loans from Delaware

Fisker Automotive, just days after sealing the deal on nearly $529 million in loans from the federal government, has won approval from Delaware officials to receive a $21.5 million loan from the state.

In a public hearing on Tuesday, the Delaware Economic Development Office’s advisory council recommended that the agency award the loan, designed to convert to a grant after five years if Fisker meets certain requirements. Under the terms recommended today, the loan would convert if the Irvine, Calif.-based startup invests at least $175 million retrofitting the shuttered General Motors facility where it plans to build plug-in hybrid vehicles, and hires at least 2,495 workers at the Wilmington, Del. plant.

Previously, Fisker has said it expected to invest $175 million over three years retooling the plant, which fell into the group of “bad” assets left in bankruptcy after the “New GM” emerged from bankruptcy.

In addition to the $21.5 million in direct aid, the Delaware Economic Development Office’s advisory board has given the nod for a $9 million grant to help cover Fisker’s utility bills at the facility.

Fisker has said it intends to produce a $47,400 plug-in hybrid vehicle, dubbed Project Nina, at the Delaware facility starting in 2012. The 3-year-old startup’s inaugural plug-in hybrid model, the $87,900 Fisker Karma, is scheduled to launch later this year in the U.S. and Europe, with Finland’s Valmet Automotive responsible for assembly.