• Jan 27, 2011
The Department of Energy began its Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan program in September of 2008. Over 100 companies applied with monetary requests totaling $42.7 billion. The DOE has $25 billion to provide, and so far it's only handed out $8.5 billion. This is bad news for quite a few companies that were looking forward to receiving a helping hand. Of the 100 applicants, just four have completed the process and received funds.

Ford, Nissan, Tesla and Fisker have closed on their loans while a fifth company, Vehicle Production Group LLC, has been awarded funds but the deal has not yet closed. What's the holdup? That's the question many of the applicants and members of congress are asking.

The DOE has fallen behind schedule on the loan review process, term negotiations and seemingly all other steps involved. Also, due to rising costs involved with the program, it appears that the entire $25 billion will not be doled out. There may be just $10 billion left.

Some companies are still hoping for good news, like electric-vehicle builder Zap. Others, such as automotive parts supplier Tenneco, were approved but have yet to see a dime and have given up waiting.

[Source: Detroit News – sub. req.]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      The glut of articles that came out this week about how GM & Chrysler had "Fixed"
      the ATVM loan for themselves seems to have put too much scrutiny on GM and
      further review would have tracked back to the dirty-secrets of who they bribed in Washington to get a private slush fund just for themselves at taxpayer and
      competitor expense. Nissan caught them and so they got some of the money too, making it Slush money AND Hush Money. No company would
      walk away from $14B that they are a shoe-in for unless they realized that
      deeper investigations would bring them to their knees and link all of the payoffs and
      "special dinners" together.
      • 3 Years Ago
      for all you folks out there that think we should raise the gas tax to force people to buy certain types of cars this is what I fear the most... trusting our illustrious government with the cash!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Are they just chosing not to spend the remaing billions? or was that lost somewhere along the way?

      • 3 Years Ago
      So let me get this straight.....$25 Billion to Loan - $8.5 Billion Committed Loans = $16.5 Billion left. But now there is actually only about $10 Billion left to spend.

      Where the hell is the other $6.5 Billion? Rising costs my #$$
        • 3 Years Ago
        Lets not forget that the money should have been getting interest the past 2 years as well, and we think the gov will handle health care and other crap they are pushing? they cant handle 25 billion but we trust them with 1.4 trillion???
        • 3 Years Ago
        First of all, you're quoting autoblog. We all know that they have a reputation for mis-reporting a story or two. I for one plan on researching this issue before commenting for or against it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Typical government program. $25 billion allocated, $8.5 billion handed out and $10 billion left. So where is the other $6.5 billion? Did they spend that much on the program and get that far behind? Way to go Washington.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The DOE has fallen behind schedule on the loan review process, term negotiations and seemingly all other steps involved."------------------------I am sure they will do a much better job with health care.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yep, I've read up more on the issue, folks at the DoE needs to be handed pink slips, and shown the door.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Urchin, normally I disagree with just about everything you say. Strangely enough, I completely agree this time.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well the folks on government healthcare (read Medicare /Medicaid) seems to be doing just fine with it have been for a couple of decades or so.
      • 3 Years Ago
      a. 4 companies already, especially Ford and Nissan will fill the current demand. Likely til 2014.

      b. regulating 4 companies is easier than 15 (i.e. you go home at 5pm).

      c. The level of kick-backs, lobbyists-perks from 4 companies is pretty much the same as with 15. There are so many dinners you can have at the Capitol Grille in a week.

      Hindering progress via bureaucracy at its best.
        • 3 Years Ago
        For Fisker and Tesla, that was money well-spent. Without those "loans", their dot-com party would come to a crashing halt. Too bad Fisker and Tesla management won't be held personally responsible for paying them back.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let's not forget Carbon Motors who's still waiting for their $300M from DOE to fully start operations. There are hundreds of American jobs on the line that D.C. apparently just doesn't care about.
        • 3 Years Ago
        CM is a risky business to give a loan too. New company, new product, lots of competition; with a higher price point. Sure it could work and the product looks amazing, but will police chiefs and sheriffs be lining up for it? All those pre-orders were before ford came out with their next generation cruiser, with a matching SUV that has equal driving dynamics.

        6.5billion missing? Seriously? I tried to look into this further, but I can't find any specifics on where this money went... all just vagueness of 'higher costs of giving loans'. Better the Australia's recent '10 million dollars in costs to give 2.5million in home loans' deal.
        • 3 Years Ago
        That's OK. It's not like Carbon would be the only opportunity for an American company to sell police cars. If Carbon Motors doesn't hit the lottery, GM or Ford or Chrysler will pick up the slack.

        Oh, wait, they already did. Hence, the huge number of brand new Dodge police cars I'm seeing on the roads.
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