Energy Dept. seizes $21M from electric car maker (Update)

April 22, 2013 by Matthew Daly

The Obama administration has seized $21 million from troubled automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. just weeks after the company laid off three-fourths of its workers amid continuing financial and production problems.

Fisker had received $192 million in federal loans before a series of problems led U.S. officials to freeze the loan in 2011.

In a statement Monday, the Energy Department said it recovered $21 million from the company's reserve account on April 11 as it continues to seek repayment from the car maker for a 2009 loan commitment awarded by the Energy Department. A payment from Fisker was due Monday, but was not made, a DOE official said.

The payment deadline, combined with the company's financial woes, had increased speculation that Fisker would file for bankruptcy as soon as Monday. No bankruptcy filing had occurred by late in the day.

The DOE awarded the Anaheim, California-based company a $529 million loan as part of an Obama administration program to boost electric cars and other advanced vehicles. Fisker pledged its assets as collateral on that loan.

A DOE spokeswoman called the financial seizure appropriate and noted that safeguards were written into the loan agreement. Combined with the 2011 action to freeze the loan, the DOE has protected more than two-thirds of its original loan commitment, spokeswoman Aoife McCarthy said.

"While this is a hard time for the company's employees and investors, our overall portfolio of more than 30 projects continues to perform well and more than 90 percent of the $10 billion loan loss reserves Congress established remains intact," McCarthy said.

The Energy Department has been criticized for failing to protect taxpayers from a failed $529 million loan to solar panel maker Solyndra, which went bankrupt in 2011 and laid off 1,100 workers.

Fisker, maker of the $100,000-plus Karma hybrid sports car, has not built a vehicle since last summer and has failed to secure a buyer as its cash reserves have dwindled.

A company spokesman declined to comment Monday.

Explore further: Hybrid automaker Fisker to buy shuttered GM plant

0 shares

Related Stories

Tesla CEO vows to pay off US loan early

February 27, 2013

The chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Motors says his company plans to pay back an Energy Department loan in half the time required by the U.S. government.

Recommended for you

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

VENDItardE
2 / 5 (8) Apr 22, 2013
loaned them 529 million guaranteed by 21 million? clearly the act of professional management
VendicarE
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 22, 2013
It is astonishing how Conservative Retards like VendiTardE continually read what isn't written, but what they would like to see true.

"guaranteed by 21 million?" - VendiTard

It is all part of the Mental Disease called Conservatism.

Kiwini
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 22, 2013
And it's nice to be able to easily recognize the first reply from a true liberal by the same old cheap shots and hate-filled empty rhetoric.

Please note that the term "liberal" does not carry any implication that said liberal belongs to any particular political party.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.