Nissan Leaf at Tokyo Motor Show (RHD).

After Fisker Debacle, Obama Revives Stalled Green Auto Loan Program

The Obama Administration says it still has $ 16 billion left over from a controversial loan plan intended to encourage clean autos and is retooling the plan to make it easier for element suppliers to get entry to the income.

“Motor car elements makers play a significant position in the development and deployment of new technologies to meet the demand for fuel-effective autos and we feel the ATVM Loan Program can perform an crucial financing role as the industry establishes the subsequent generation of manufacturing facilities in the United States,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

The automobile sector is when once more booming, but that has led to capability constraints among some elements suppliers, who need capital to increase. The revisions to the green vehicle loan program will make it less difficult for suppliers of almost everything from innovative engines and powertrains to light-weight supplies and large-tech electronic methods to apply. Even fuel-effective tire manufacturers are eligible.

Nissan Leaf at Tokyo Motor Show (RHD).

Nissan Leaf at Tokyo Motor Present (RHD). (Photograph credit: Wikipedia)

Designed by the Bush Administration in 2007 and funded by Congress in 2008 (just as the automobile market was collapsing), the Innovative Technology Automobile Manufacturing program provided up to $ 25 billion in direct loans to help organizations pay for the charges of opening or retooling U.S. factories to create far more fuel-productive cars and elements. The system was meant to help automakers comply with sharply higher fuel economy specifications.

Much more than 100 applications have been submitted, but following the first 5 loans have been awarded, totaling $ 8.4 billion, the plan ground to a halt in 2011 amid political controversy following a number of high-profile bankruptcies, such as Solyndra, a solar panel maker that obtained a $ 535 million loan guarantee underneath a diverse DOE plan.

The ATVM system was a bonanza for the early recipients, however. Ford Motor Ford Motor, which took the lion’s share of the money with a $ 5.9 billion loan in Sept. 2009 (shortly soon after Standard Motors General Motors and Chrysler received their taxpayer bailouts), utilised the funds to retool several truck plants for manufacturing of tiny automobiles and hybrids. Nissan Motor Nissan Motor obtained a $ one.5 billion loan to build an innovative battery plant in Tennessee and make the plug-in Nissan Leaf close by.  California-primarily based Tesla Motors received $ 465 million to build its plug-in Model S sedan and related batteries, and has considering that repaid its loan.

The green auto plan did back a couple of canines, however. Fisker Automotive, which created $ 100,000 plug-in hybrid sports cars, went bankrupt right after drawing $ 193 million of its $ 529 million ATVM loan, and was later on sold to a Chinese manufacturer. VPG, which planned to promote natural gas-powered vans for handicapped drivers, also went bankrupt following getting a $ 50 million government loan. DOE recovered just $ 8 million on that investment.

Regardless of people losses, the Vitality Department says the ATVM program has helped finance $ 14 billion well worth of industry investments to make cleaner automobiles, which help some 35,000 jobs across 8 states: California, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, New York and Tennessee.

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