In the "it may be broke, but we ain't fixing it" department, the US government has decided not to shutter the $25 billion Department of Energy loan program geared to accelerate advanced-powertrain technology development, the Detroit News reports. Given the opportunity to cut a mere $6 million in funding earmarked specifically to oversee the $25 billion Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing program, the US House declined and the Obama Administration said that there remains more than $15 billion available in the program. Still, the program hasn't made a loan in more than two years, and there are no pending applications.

Both advocates of and opponents to the program can point to Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive as the yin and yang of the program when it comes to its relative success at pushing forward domestically-based advanced-powertrain technology. For Fisker and its Karma extended-range plug-in, the feds earmarked $529 million before freezing about $300 million of the proceeds because the company missed production quotas. Fisker, which is said to have lost about $35,000 per vehicle produced, is up for sale after making just 2,000 vehicles. On the flipside, Tesla, which took out $465 million for its battery-electric vehicles, paid off the loan in May, about nine years ahead of schedule.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      Dave D
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is such a politically charged subject that I don't even think a rational discussion is possible. I tend to favor loans as they're paid back if the company is successful and it's worth the risk to jump start some parts of the economy or sectors that might need it. Bu then, I hate subsidies of any type so I'm being two-faced here. I guess I just don't think there is a level playing field yet so I'm willing to do *something* for a few years to give us alternatives.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave D
        If you want to find the middle ground, stand for the removal of all energy subsidies and let the market and technology sort it out. Many people think this position is extreme, but it is not. It means that the price of gasoline will go up, but also, the incentive to switch to renewables will be increased quite a bit. It's not an easy decision to make, but it is the right one.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Our non-free market system currently allows the burning of fossil fuels and releasing tons of chemicals. Our current system does not account for externalities either. So what is your idea - a carbon tax of some sort?
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          I do hope you understand that accounting for externalities by taxing them will make everything energy related much more expensive. Even the creation of hydrogen, solar panels, batteries, electric motors, mining for all the materials involved etc. This may favor green energy very slightly, but ultimately it will make using any form of energy more expensive. Everything has a carbon footprint. You car, your house, your food, your bicycle, your computer.. That being said, an accounting of carbon via some method is not incompatible with a freer market. In fact, some free market proselytizers are the ones who actually came up with the idea of a carbon tax or carbon accounting :)
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          There is no option not to pay. The only question is what to pay for. Energy or sea walls? Emission controls or asthma inhalers? Schools or prisons? I am very much for letting free market solve every problem that it can. And it can do a lot, but not everything.
          paulwesterberg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Removal of subsidies for fossil fuels would fix one part of the problem. The other issue is that a "free market" system allows burning of fossil fuels and releasing tons of chemicals into the air which affects the health and well being of all of us. These negative externalities should be accounted for in the marketplace so the full costs of using fossil fuels is properly accounted for.
          brotherkenny4
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Wars or defense
        Dave D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave D
        Wow, I have no idea why it double posted. I hit "Submit" one time and both entries jumped up???
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      The money from this program would be better spent on some other green car program. No major manufacturer dares to apply for this money now because of how politicized it has become. It is now too late for new manufacturers to get an early foothold, so those dollars are too high risk for the small number of EV's that they might bring to market. The reality is that this program achieved it's goals with only a fraction of the funds originally allocated. The goal of this program was to bridge the gap between lab experiments to going into production. Here we are 5 years later, and we've got half a dozen or so of the target cars in production, with another dozen or so promised for production in the near future. We went from every blog on ABG having at least one post that called the car being discussed "vaporware", to debating which of the real EV's/PHEV's we can buy right now will work best for which driving situations. It worked, it's done. Put it to bed.
      Rob J
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is some amazing irony that the image gallery is for SR Auto Group... A Canadian company based in Vancouver. They also have a habit of running some perfectly good cars or adding new wheels and claiming it's "customized."
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      The budget for defense spending went up under Obama because he put the two wars on the budget for the 2010 budget (the 2009 budget was passed in 2008 before Obama was sworn into office). His predecessor did not include the wars in the Defense Dept. budget. He paid for them through off-budget supplemental appropriation bills. So you cannot compare the pre-2010 defense budgets to earlier budgets. They don't include the same costs. Also, previous budgets before we were involved in 2 wars did not have to pay to re-equip from previous years of conflict, and pay for long-term care for soldiers who had not yet been injured in battle. The current budget has a whole lot of money being spent to care for our soldiers wounded in battle. It costs more and more money the longer a nation is in war to care for wounded soldiers even after wars are brought to an end. Do you think we should spend more and take care of these folks, or not?
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would love for there to be a viable third party. It doesn't seem possible at this point though. In the last 50 years the current parties have put legislation in place to prevent it from happening. It very similar to the dealership legislation in that it prevents competitors from even having the opportunity to compete.
      EVnerdGene
      • 1 Year Ago
      Did I understand this correctly? We're spending $6M per year to oversee a program that hasn't made a loan since 2009 ? What would that take; like two or three bureaucrats in some office at the DOE ? No, shut down the waste. Shut down all the waste at the DOE, the DOT, the other DOE, , , ,
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        And someone would have a fit if a company received $24 million then went bankrupt. Spend it in the normal course of government - no big deal. The catch-22 of government spending. There does need to be a few government employees overseeing the current Ford and Nissan loans. They still add up to $7 billion in outstanding loans. Maybe one other to go over potential new loans as they appear. That same person should be able to do a number of other jobs as well.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          yeah, like I said; 3 thumb-up-butt bureaucrats would be plenty to monitor this program and this congress and administration just can't think of anywhere to cut - nutless
        Rob Mahrt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        Lol all these people acting like managing $15 billion in federal loans as as easy as sitting on your couch.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rob Mahrt
          There were 5 loans. Now there are 4. Whew, makes me tired just thinking about it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I parked right next to a Fisker this last Sunday in NB. Very nice car, but definitely not worth the $119K or so.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Once signed into law republicans that voted for this will turn right around and blame Obama for continuing to waste taxpayer money. If he vetos the law they will complain that he is killing American Companies/Jobs.
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Excellent way to describe the catch-22 of politics, paulw. And you're getting voted down 2WM, but you make an excellent point as well.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Both parties play the same game. Obama criticized wanton republican spending on defense for example, during his campaign. The defense budget continues to increase under his administration's rule however - despite the fact that we have mostly retracted from some of the bigger wars. This is why i don't support the 2 party system, and you shouldn't either if you are concerned for the future of this country. The only difference between the two parties is how they market themselves. That is all.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      If the left had a viable alternative to the democrat party, the tea party would split from the republicans in a heartbeat. I think if the libertarians calmed down in a few areas, they could get the civil libertarians on the left, and the fiscal conservatives on the right to jump. I already vote libertarian where I can, and hold my nose other times.
      Rashard Longino
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ok wait...$6 million in funding for a program that hasn't loaned out any $$ in two years?? I can oversee it from my living room for a mere $200K. What form do I fill out to make that happen??
        throwback
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rashard Longino
        And people wonder why some of us have no desire to have the government take more of our tax money. What exactly is the DOE doing with the 6MM this year? It can't possibly cost that much to review applications.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          @rak The deficit has been reduced, but 'under Obama?' The President's budgets have been the one area where he has excelled at bi partisanship. To my knowledge, not a single democrat, nor republican has ever voted yes on any budget he has proposed. Universal rejection. As a result, the government has been funded through continuing resolutions. These are all created in congress. Te senate refuses to fulfill their constitutional duties and even propose a budget, hence, little reconciliation has been taking place. The deficit had been reduced, but I cannot see how one can give Obama credit, unless one declares that universal rejection is what he had in mind.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          OBTW @brokenny's comment; "The government does less than 1%" LOL $6,000,000 divided by $0,000,000,000. === a Goggle-Gazillion % management fee $6M oversee fee/year $0.00 loans for the past three years so stupid Obama, here's your chance to cut some spending and the debt like you promised in 2008.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          Nerd - Now you are just showing your utter ignorance. QE3 (and all the quantitative easing measures) are Not done by a government agency. Of course they won't show up on any federal balance sheet. All of the QE programs have been done by a the 12 privately owned Federal Banks (collectively referred to as the Fed Bank). What does the actions of 12 private banks have to do with the federal deficit? Zero. This is the problem with you. You've got everything so jumbled up in your head that you don't even understand that private bank actions don't have anything to do with the national debt, the budget, or our actual deficits. There is nothing selective at all about the hard authoritative primary source data. It is exactly what it is. Even if there is a 10% correction on the 2013 data (an abnormally large correction for Treasury data) it would still show that our actual deficit spending is still cut in more than half compared to when Obama took power. Do you actually have anything, any numbers at all to contest my original statement that: "the yearly deficit has been cut in half under Obama" Because you are the one full of horse ****, stop ignoring the facts and pretending otherwise. You are just embarrassing yourself by pretending there are some other magical numbers other than the cold hard facts.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          You keep celebrating a cherry picked piece of data ? Are you projecting a deficit reduction by projecting a revenue increase ? Got any actual GAO data to back it up ? Trillion dollar coin? Monetizing 12% of debt. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2013/01/19/the-treasury-has-already-minted-two-trillion-dollar-coins/ Sure you'll scoff at it. http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://usahitman.com/wp-content/uploads/trillion-dollar-coin-w-obama-face.png&imgrefurl=http://usahitman.com/ioctdcwpt/&h=606&w=918&sz=501&tbnid=nCOVeLrpKN6abM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=136&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dtrillion%2Bdollar%2Bcoin%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=trillion+dollar+coin&usg=__JId4IJhOaeboEHy9dqe6TX5ro40=&docid=ajwqUpcsYra09M&sa=X&ei=55zoUfTfBof89QSB7IHwDg&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQ9QEwAw&dur=310 Now I've got work to do so I can pay taxes, to support about 2 out of 3 people that don't pay taxes. Just read 101 million people are getting food assistance from the DOAg. And yes, you're right I have paid into SS for decades (crap, and I thought it was just a mandatory retirement savings plan with a lousy ROI). Now they're calling it an 'entitlement' that I'm having my kids pay for. God help us. The imbeciles are in control, and the morons are celebrating. 10-4
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          Please capitalize Constitution. I don't hate the government either; butt I do recognize that it is out of control in more ways than just spending. TCM is currently replaying some Johnny Carson interviews. 1975 interview with Ronald Reagan (just finished 8 years as California governor - with a balanced budget BTW); said he was concerned about $60Billion in national debt. $60 Billion !!! Johnny asked him what advice he'd give to cut the debt and balance the budget. RR: "Learn to say NO !" Name one thing our government can do better than private industry - without sacrificing quality, completely f'ing up the economy - adding to national debt, or instituting death panels ??? BrotherKenny is either: 1. a delusional government bureaucrat (and a fairly recent one) 2. a kid on crack
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          EZEE - If you prefer the term "while Obama was President" to "Under Obama", feel free to substitute. On the flip side, if it wasn't his budgets being passed, why do all the people attack him for deficits? You can't have it both ways, attacking him for the deficits when it hasn't been his budgets, and then saying improvements aren't "Under Obama" because it hasn't been his budgets.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          The Republican dominated House votes on something, and right-wing Nerd blames Obama. Classic idiocy, and easily predictable (see paulwesterberg post earlier). For the record, the yearly deficit has been cut in half under Obama. He has presided over the largest reduction in the budget deficit in the modern history of this nation, both when measured by dollar amount and in percent cut.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          IF you don't think the yearly deficit has dropped under Obama, let's see your numbers. And don't confuse budgets (which are like wishes) with actual spending. And don't confuse Financial Years with Calender Years (our gov't runs on financial years that start in October, and end in September, so FY2008 was not the end of Bush's term)
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          Why are you so obsessed with a little bit of deficit reduction news ? Insecurity ? That's like an I-10 overpass collapsing 5 years ago, and celebrating that we're making progress rebuilding it. I'm much more interested in why the collapse happened in the first place. What dumbass policies contributed to it. And what intelligent policies are being adopted to prevent it from happening again ? [ btw: policies that contributed to it, are creeping back in ] And we know gov. spending is out of control. (if you can't agree to this, then I refuse to argue with an idiot ever again). So what is being done to cut government spending and reduce the size of government ? Answer: A budget ? No - Sequestration that axed ten of thousands of defense workers, and holidays to government bureaucrats ? - A national imperative to search out, destroy, and punish - waste fraud and abuse in government programs ? No. Instead we've got government handing out obamaphones to anyone that sticks their hand out and says they want one.. - Government advertisements with the goal of increasing the number of people and funds spent on food stamp programs and other government assistance(s) ? - Making healthcare more affordable without increasing healthcare costs for people that work AND adding Billions to the national deficit ? No. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/Stephanie-Slade/2013/07/01/opponents-of-obamacare-think-health-care-costs-will-rise This is not a Demo-crap or Re-pubic-an issue. " "Government is not a solution to our problem government is the problem." " http://www.madmagazine.com/blog/2013/01/11/mads-suggestion-for-the-new-trillion-dollar-coin
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          oxymoron " 12 privately owned Federal Banks " Can you send a list of the private owners? I want to check to see if my name is there. Libs blamed the economy on Bush, Conservatives blame the economy on Obama. That's the way it is. Who started it? You keep referring to budget. What budget ? We haven't had a budget since, what 2008 ? Who's to blame ? I think we should fire the Senate for not doing their job; especially the mega-dumbass in charge.
          brotherkenny4
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          Industry typically assigns about 5-10% of project funds to management and oversite of projects. The government does less than 1%. Take a look at all industry consortiums and evaluate what it costs to select and manage. You will see that I speak the truth. This is not to say that the program isn't unecessary now, but this rant of the typical government haters is just wrong. Of course it is much the same as the post office in that congress controls the purse strings, and the typical political in-fighting between the respective parties leads to apparent failure of management. So, rant about your elected officials rather than the "gubmint" because you just don't have it correct. I challenge you to make direct comparison between industry consortiums and the government programs, and the cost to operate them.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          @ rak "the yearly deficit has been cut in half under Obama" You are delusional, or you are believing horseshit. $7T (Trillion) with a capital T added to the national debt since 2009 (not counting QEs (Quantitative Easing(s) = printing/digital money). Come on, let's count it all. Morons in majority got the government they deserve. The fit will hit the sham from this idiocy. Thanks
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          Haha, what a troll. First you claim deficit spending hasn't dropped the fastest ever in modern history, and then when proven wrong, you know so little about what is going on that you have to start asking 20 questions. I'll tell you exactly how it happened. If you first acknowledge that deficit spending has been cut in half under Obama.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          Please explain why you are so childishly insistent.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          Wow, you certainly do throw around a whole lot of crap to completely avoid the issue of our actual deficit spending being cut in half under Obama. Yes, I can name the private owners. Each of the 12 federal reserve banks issue ownership shares to to thousands of banks, investment houses, and pseudo-bank members who have access to the fed bank window. These shareholders are all private companies. In turn, these private companies typically have publicly traded stock shares. So if you look into your 401K, you probably own shares in private banks like US Bank (no, US bank is not owned by the United States gov't...), Wells Fargo, Goldman, Chase, etc. You can also look at the stock holder of these banks and see which institutional investors own the most shares, and follow who owns shares in those institutional investors. You are an admitted old fart who claims to have lots of money invested for your retirement. So yes, if you have the balls to publicly share where you have invested your money (what stocks, what bonds, what funds, etc) I can track the multiple routes you most likely have your own indirect ownership in the fed banks. Seriously, you are just making a fool of yourself. Of course the 12 fed banks are privately owned. This is common knowledge. And no, I absolutely do not keep referring to the budget. I keep referring to the actual spending deficit, and how it is completely different than the budget. Clearly you are still confused and don't know the difference. But in reality, all you are doing is desperately trying to change the subject to absolutely anything besides the actual deficit spending. Do you understand that $2.1 Trillion is way more than twice as much as $670 billion or not? Yes or no? Stop evading the issue with every line of bullsh!t you try to float.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          Cherry picked? Those are the relevant time periods. Let me guess, you want to compare numbers that don't include the anything after the 2008 crash for Bush, to post crash numbers under Obama, as if the biggest global economic disaster in modern history didn't happen. What dates do you think are relevant? For fun, let's extend it for a year from when the 2008 economic crash began, and compare it what has happened in the last 12 months: Sept. 18 2008 to Sept. 18 2009 == $ 2.143 Trillon in actual deficit spending. vs. July 18 2012 to July 18 2013 == $843 Billion in actual deficit spending. Still a more than 50% cut in deficit spending from where we were at the beginning of Obama's first term to now. Again, what time span do you think is relevant if not the worst of the deficit spending when Obama took office, compared to where we are right now? It isn't cherry picking, it's the real numbers of where we were, compared to where we are now. What is wrong with you that you can't admit that we've cut our actual deficit spending in half? You are one of those sad old trolls who hates Obama so much, that anything positive about our country getting better just pisses you off. So you willfully blind yourself to good news, like our deficit spending dropping faster under Obama than any point ever in the modern history of the US. Yea, you can keep trying to distract using whatever BS you want, but I'm done with your red herring BS spam. So back to the numbers that hurt you so badly to the core to admit they are real that you will drag in crap about trillion dollar coins to evade admiting the numbers I've quoted are the actual real numbers. Yes, I already quoted CBO numbers for FY2013. That was the $670 billion. It is due to more revenue. Revenue that as already been collected by the Treasury for 9 of the 12 months of FY2013. Do you want to see the actual revenue numbers? The Treasury reports those too. I could post those, but you still childishly refuse to acknowledge the numbers I posted from http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current already. Why would you believe revenue numbers from the same source that you keep pretending aren't real and accurate for deficit spending?
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          Nerd, I'm not sure you know the difference between our national debt, vs our annual budget, vs our actual deficit. This stuff is easy to actually look up if you give a damn. All the numbers are available down to the penny at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current Here is our actual deficit spending in the last 6 months before Obama took power (Aug 1 2008-Feb 1 2009): $1,075,433,900,143 That is a loss of $1 Trillion dollar in just 6 months, or the equivalent of a yearly $2.1 Trillion dollar deficit. Here is our actual deficit spending over the last 6 months (Jan 1 2013-July 1 2013): $305,579,255,079 This is exactly in line with CBO's recent estimate of an actual deficit of $670 billion for the 2013 Financial Year that ends in September. So yea, we went from an annualized actual deficit of $2.1 Trillion/year to $670 Billion/year. All that is left is for you to answer which is bigger, $2.1 Trillion, or $670 Billion? If you can't see the huge cut in deficit spending between what Obama inherited and where we've gotten to now, you have a math/reality problem.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          1. That's called cherry picking data. 2. It will take a year or two to get an accurate figure for the first half of 2013 which just ended. If you can look an audience in the face and make that claim, you might have a future in politics. Don't forget the QE3 that is being printed/digitally spent as we sleep. $85 Billion just last month (roughly a $Trillion per year?) doesn't show up in the deficit or national debt. Does it ? No, but it will come out of our savings and retirement accounts in the form of inflation (a transfer tax - which the government loves). Don't count your chickens until you see chicken poop. BTW: I have a permanent cure for inflation. A Constitutional amendment that Congressional and Executive branch salaries are fixed - forever - no ifs-ands-or-butts - not even with another amendment.
          throwback
          • 1 Year Ago
          @throwback
          There is one huge difference. The government is taking tax payer money to fund pet projects. What "industry consortiums" is forcibly taking what you earn to spend as they see fit? By the way, I'm not a government hater, I expect the government to not over step their powers as defined by that pesky constitution most folks hate and have never read. This type of attitude is how we end up with spy programs that are "only there to protect us". i also have not voted for my incumbent representatives for years. Unfortunately most folks keep pulling the lever for the same old men.
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