• Jun 23rd 2009 at 2:07PM
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Ford Focus EV Mule - Click above for high-res gallery

The third piece of the DOE's funding puzzle that was laid out this morning goes, as expected, to Ford. What's notable is that Ford's share of the $8 billion in conditional loan commitments that the DOE announced today for electric cars is by far the largest: $5.9 billion. To compare, Nissan gets $1.6 billion and Tesla Motors received $465 million.

Ford will use the money to bring "13 more fuel efficient models" to market, including improved traditional ICE-powered vehicles as well as EVs. The loans will help convert two truck plants over to car production, bumping up the mpg of vehicles like the Focus, Escape, Taurus and F-150, and affect factories and facilities in five states. Specific details are available after the jump.

More announcements from the DOE on the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program (ATVMP) are expected in the coming months. All told, the DOE has $17 billion left from the $25 billion in the AVTMP to award. Last year, the DOE offered $30 billion for plug-in hybrid research, some of which went to Ford.

[Source: DOE]


June 23, 2009

Obama Administration Awards First Three Auto Loans for Advanced Technologies to Ford Motor Company, Nissan Motors and Tesla Motors

Washington, DC – Today, the Obama Administration announced $8 billion in conditional loan commitments for the development of innovative, advanced vehicle technologies that will create thousands of green jobs while helping reduce the nation's dangerous dependence on foreign oil. The loan commitments announced today by the President include $5.9 billion for Ford Motor Company to transform factories across Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio to produce 13 more fuel efficient models; $1.6 billion to Nissan North America, Inc. to retool their Smyrna, Tennessee factory to build advanced electric automobiles and to build an advanced battery manufacturing facility; and $465 million to Tesla Motors to manufacture electric drive trains and electric vehicles in California.

These are the first conditional loan commitments reached as part of the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. The Department plans to make additional loans under this program over the next several months to large and small auto manufacturers and parts suppliers up and down the production chain.

"We have an historic opportunity to help ensure that the next generation of fuel-efficient cars and trucks are made in America," said President Obama. "These loans – and the additional support we will provide through the Section 136 program – will create good jobs and help the auto industry to meet and even exceed the tough fuel economy standards we've set, while helping us to regain our competitive edge in the world market."

"By supporting key technologies and sound business plans, we can jumpstart the production of fuel efficient vehicles in America," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. "These investments will come back to our country many times over – by creating new jobs, reducing our dependence on oil, and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions."

These commitments will help reduce the 140 billion gallons of gasoline Americans consume each year, lessening the nation's dependence on the volatile world market for oil, and decreasing the cause of a fifth of the nation's carbon emissions. The Obama Administration recently announced an agreement to raise passenger car fuel standards from 27.5 miles per gallon to a target of 35 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016. While 35 mpg is ambitious, the Department of Energy's auto loan program received more than a hundred applications for loans to help achieve greater fuel efficiency. The competition among advances in conventional engine technologies, next-generation biofuels, and transportation electrification holds the potential to increase US fuel efficiency dramatically over the next several years.

The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program is an open and competitive process focusing on the best companies and best technologies in American manufacturing. First appropriated in the fall of 2008, the program will provide about $25 billion in loans to companies making cars and components in US factories that increase fuel economy at least 25 percent above 2005 fuel economy levels. The intense technical and financial review process is focused not on choosing a single technology over others, but is aimed at promoting multiple approaches for achieving a fuel efficient economy.

Applications for the loan program have included vehicles running on electricity, biofuels, and advanced combustion engines, and were submitted by both car and component makers, US automakers, US manufacturing subsidiaries of non-US-based companies, major US auto parts suppliers, and innovative startups.

Ford Motor Company will receive $5.9 billion in loans through 2011 to help finance numerous engineering advances to traditional internal combustion engines and electrified vehicles. In addition, theses loans will help the company convert two truck plants to the production of cars. Ford will be raising the fuel efficiency of more than a dozen popular models, including the Focus, Escape, Taurus and F-150, representing close to two million new vehicles annually and helping to transform nearly 35,000 employees to green engineering and manufacturing jobs in factories across 5 states: Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. Ford is driving a major upgrade, leveraging a portfolio of technologies, including the direct injection, smart turbocharging EcoBoost engine, advanced transmissions, and new hybrid technologies.

The facilities that will be impacted by today's announcement include: Chicago Assembly, Louisville Assembly, Dearborn Assembly, Dearborn Engine, Livonia Transmission, Michigan Assembly, Van Dyke Transmission, Kansas City Assembly, Cleveland Engine, Lima Engine, and Sharonville Transmission.

Nissan will receive $1.6 billion to produce electric cars and battery packs at its manufacturing complex in Smyrna, Tennessee. The loan will aid in the construction of a new battery plant and modifications to the existing assembly facility. These fully electric cars are an important milestone for vehicles produced in the United States by a major international automaker. These cars are energy efficient, using electricity at a gasoline-equivalent rate of more than 350 mpg. This new state of the art facility is a notable effort by a major automaker with well-established US operations to produce its most advanced vehicles and lithium-ion batteries. Nissan aims to manufacture a cost-competitive all-electric car, overcoming a major obstacle to widespread adoption of pure electric vehicles. Nissan will offer electric vehicles to fleet and retail customers, and plans to ramp up production capacity in Smyrna up to 150,000 vehicles annually. Nissan anticipates the project may result in an increase of up to 1,300 jobs in Smyrna when full production is reached.

Tesla Motors will receive $465 million that will also advance electric vehicles. The first loan will finance a manufacturing facility for the Tesla Model S sedan. This vehicle demonstrates how the emerging electric car is becoming more affordable: the Model S is expected to be roughly $50,000 cheaper than Tesla's first vehicle, the Roadster. The all-electric sedan consumes no gasoline and runs entirely on electricity from any conventional 120V or 220V outlet. It will get the equivalent of more than 250 miles per gallon, far exceeding the 32.7 mpg minimum efficiency required for large sedans. Production of the Model S will begin in 2011 and ramp up to 20,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2013. This integrated facility expects to create 1,000 jobs in Southern California.

The second part of the loan will support a facility to manufacture battery packs and electric drive trains to be used in Teslas and in vehicles built by other automakers, including the Smart For Two city car by Daimler. This project demonstrates how Tesla's early technology will support electric projects at larger companies. Early pilot battery pack production will begin in 2011, reaching about 10,000 by 2012 and 30,000 packs in 2013. The new facility expects to employ 650 people in the Bay area of Northern California.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Delicia Dawn Kouzeva
      • 3 Years Ago
      Happy Easter Jesus is alive
      • 6 Years Ago
      So, nowadays the American car industry is like GM (Government Motors) /GM (
      • 6 Years Ago
      So the American car industry nowadays is:
      GM (Government Motors) divided into:
      /GM division (General Motors)
      /Ford division
      /FIAT Chrysler division
        • 6 Years Ago
        There are so many things wrong with that comment, there is no where to begin to correct it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The US government gives loans all kinds of businesses. That doesn't make them part of the US government. Clearly, our education system has failed you.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let the games begin.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So the US gives money to Japanese manufacturers. Fair enough. And I guess that means that Japan will give money to US manufacturers, right? NOT!!!!

      That would be foolish...........
        • 6 Years Ago
        ''"Japanese" or "American" manufacturers existed 50 years ago. Today, they are "multinational". Also, since when is loaning money considered giving?"

        So how does that affect my point? Does Japan give money to foreign manufacturers? Why not? Duh!

        Also, if you receive money via a loan, you have "received" money. The person who gave it to you "gave" you money? How freaking hard is that to understand. The terms for receiving the money were favorable as compared to other options, or the exchange would not take place. And, of course, the US government isn't spread too thin with the money it is lending out, right? NOT!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Neither Ford nor Tesla have manufacturing facilities in Japan. Why should Japanese government "give" them money?"

        There are no strings attached to where the money is spent. All the research can be done in Japan, and probably will be.

        Japan spent no money helping AIG, which is a huge employer in Tokyo, and own prime property near the royal palace.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The money loaned to Nissan was specifically to build batterys and EV's in the US. There are very much strings attached and rules to be followed. The DOE didn't just "give" money to Nissan, it was a loan, to be repayed, and it creates American jobs in the process.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can't wait to see how they spend the money on the F-150. Ford really has a chance to make the Taurus competite with Tesla with the funds.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Can anyone tell me what a DOE 'CONDITIONAL' Loan is ?
      • 6 Years Ago
      While not as stylish as the Tesla Model S or even the Volt, Ford could really pull a quick one and produce an all-electric car before the Model S is ready for mass-production.

      Their Mercury Milan hydrid ( http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-10261423-48.html) is almost up there with Toyota on efficiency.

      Well played, Ford.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, I drove a Fusion Hybrid and it will absolutely maintain 40MPH on level ground. In fact, I saw closer to 50 while cruising around Lancaster CA with outside temps near 100. Since the AC runs off electrical power, the engine didn't need to run for AC, unlike the Escape Hybrid. It was really cool moving around the dealer's lot to re-park the car in total silence, with the AC still running!

        My only complaint for the car is the size of the trunk. The battery is up against the rear seat back, so there's no fold down seats, and the trunk is substantially smaller than my '06 Jetta. I don't know if I can give up that much trunk space. Everything else about the car is great.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Almost as efficient?

        I guess it depends if you're comparing the Milan Hybrid to the Camry Hybrid or the Prius.

        The Milan (and it's twin, the Fusion) Hybrid is EPA rated at 41/26 (39 combined) with the Camry Hybrid is rated 33/34 (34 combined).

        Of course, the Prius is in another league at 51/48 (50 combined).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, I wasn't comparing with the Prius. As you said, it's in a different class.

        I just want to encourage Ford to go toward pure EV. One of the reason they get better numbers than the Camry and most other hybrid sedans is that the electric motor is more powerful and stays engaged for up to 40m/h (I think), which is decent.

        This means that they know how to integrate powerful motors and would be able to make an electric-only if they chose to do so.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For that kind of scratch they better damn well make at least one BEV.

      Delicia Dawn Kouzeva
      • 3 Years Ago
      How, can anyone get fair treamnet, when our own Government is protecting the killer?
      Ilia Kosta
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford Ford Motor Company will receive $5.9 billion in loans through 2011. They are always saying they did not get money from the government. Such liars!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Fusion/Milan Hybrid reportedly supports EV-only travel up to 47MPH. Ford has also become more aggressive with their fuel-cut strategies when the driver lifts off the throttle.
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