Vehicle Production Group, also known as VPG, made nearly 2,500 handicap-accessible vans and taxis that ran on compressed natural gas. Although the company had numerous orders for more, it also ran short on a minimum amount of cash required as a contingency for the government loan.
Former CEO John Walsh tells USA Today approximately 100 employees were laid off in February. The company, based in Allen Park., Mich., has not filed for bankruptcy, according to the newspaper.
The $50 million loan came as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program administered by the DOE, although it's a tiny part of the program's $25 billion total.
The program has become a partisan talking point in Washington D.C., as President Obama pushes a clean-energy agenda. Two other companies that received funds from the program were high-profile flops.
Solar-energy start-up Solyndra had received $535 million before filing for bankruptcy. Fisker Automotive, a maker of luxury plug-in hybrid vehicles, had received $527 million under the program and failed to make its first payment last month.