Fisker Karma in motion
Struggling to save Fisker Automotive from the of talons of bankruptcy, Henrik Fisker has teamed up with Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li to offer to purchase the company's outstanding U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) advanced vehicles loan for just a fraction of its $171 million balance (the company was originally loaned $192 million, but $21 million was seized last month by the Energy Department).

According to Reuters, there are at least two different investor groups interested in the company, but the DOE loan must be addressed before the automaker can be revived. (Satisfying the federal loan helps make Fisker Automotive more attractive to potential buyers, but it still leaves outstanding debt to suppliers.) The DOE would sell the loan to cut its losses – against slim odds of the loan being repaid – even though it would be recovering only pennies on the dollar.

While the Fisker/Li group has reportedly offered to buy the loan for between $25 - $30 million, another group led by Chinese automaker Wanxiang Group and Bob Lutz have teamed up to offer to buy Fisker for $20 million in a prearranged bankruptcy. That second investor group is likely working a different angle: remember, it was Lutz who unveiled his Corvette ZR1-powered VL Automotive Destino at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.