September 23, 2009

Fisker granted $529 million DOE loan

The U.S. Energy Department said it would loan California's luxury automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. $529 million to develop two alternative-energy vehicles.

The low-interest loan is the fourth grant to come out of the $25 billion automotive retooling loan project passed into law in September 2008, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.

Loans are given to companies to produce vehicles 25 percent more fuel efficient than cars already in production.

California's Tesla Motors Inc. was granted a $465 million loan in June to develop an electrically powered sedan that is expected to cost $49,900.

In June, Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. were awarded grants totaling $7.5 billion.

Fisker's plans call for building a two alternative-fueled vehicles, including a plug-in hybrid expected to cost $88,000.

Luxury buyers are going to be willing to spend more, allowing automakers to build more of the technology into the vehicles, autoconomy.com founder Erich Merkle told the News.

The Energy Department said the Fisker project would create or save thousands of jobs, including 5,000 jobs among U.S. parts suppliers.