DOE restarting ATVM loan program famous for backing Tesla, Fisker

View 5 Photos
There have been some very public successes and failures from the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program, most notably Tesla and Fisker, but the US government is not yet finished. It's been a while – no ATVM loans have been given out since 2011 – but the DOE is finally getting ready to find homes for the billions still at hand. DOE spokeswoman Aoife McCarthy told Bloomberg that, "With no sunset date and more than $15 billion in remaining authority, the program plans to conduct an active outreach campaign to educate industry associations and potential applicants about the substantial remaining funds available and the application process in general." Earlier this year, the DOE said it was done handing out automotive loans through the ATVM program.

Despite being a Bush-era program, the ATVM loan program has been the subject of Republican criticisms and investigations on the Hill. The most public was when Henrik Fisker and other Fisker executives were called to testify earlier this year. The program's most public success was when Tesla paid back its $465-million government loan nine years early, something that didn't always fit the talking point. The other big recipients of ATVM loan money were Ford ($5.9 billion) and Nissan ($1.6 billion), which are reportedly on track to pay back their money on time. A number of automotive companies and projects, including Carbon Motors, Aptera and Bright Automotive, were shuttered or slowed by the lack of DOE action.

Share This Photo X