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Fisker fails to deliver 1st government loan payment, DOE has already taken $21M

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Electric car startup Fisker Automotive did not pay its first $10 million loan payment due to the Department of Energy on Monday, reports the LA Times. At the same time, the DOE has already seized $21 million from Fisker from a reserve account close to two weeks ago anticipating a default on the loan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The bad news is the latest in a string of problems for Fisker, which has also seen lawsuits pile up in recent weeks, and laid off 75 percent of its staff earlier this month. According to several media reports, Fisker has been prepping bankruptcy documents, but at the same time has also been trying to raise funds to restart production of its first car the Karma.

Fisker on DOE Loan Timeline (Next Month) and Pulling Out of Michigan

We detailed Fisker’s long disturbing story in our lengthy piece: A look under the hood: why electric car startup Fisker crashed and burned. On Wednesday the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform has scheduled a hearing where Fisker founders Henrik Fisker and Bernard Koehler are expected to testify and Fisker CEO Tony Posawatz has been invited.

Fisker raised $1.2 billion from over a thousand investors, including venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins and NEA, and drew down on a close to $200 million loan from the DOE. Fisker owes the DOE another $171 million. If Fisker files for bankruptcy, it will be one of the biggest losses in venture capital history.

9 Responses to “Fisker fails to deliver 1st government loan payment, DOE has already taken $21M”

  1. Doug King

    I’m a little confused here. Can you explain why Fisker didn’t just go bankrupt before loan payment was due? What are they holding out for?

    Also it’s unclear to me why that “seized” $21M doesn’t just cover the first loan payment.

    • @Doug King, Not sure why they didn’t declare bankruptcy. My speculation is they are trying to raise more money so they can operate. The WSJ reported that the money was seized almost two weeks ago from a reserve account, in anticipation that they’d default on the loan. That is different than Fisker paying the loan payment in that the money was taken by the DOE.

      • Wallcon

        Unfortunately, dale G is right. Media are reporting lies, copying from each other, like Katie and all other … For some reason, DOE want Fisker to go bankrupt.

        • Satorical

          Why on Earth would the DOE want Fisker to fail after betting more than half a billion dollars on the company? I’m an electric car fan, but your statement fails the logic test.

          GigaOm’s coverage of Fisker has been detailed and fair.