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Ford, Nissan, Tesla Receive DOE Loans for EVs

teslamodelsFord, Nissan and Tesla have received $8 billion in conditional loans from the Obama Administration for the development of advanced vehicle technologies that is expected to create thousands of green jobs while helping reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

The loan commitments include $5.9 billion for Ford  to transform factories across Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio to produce 13 more fuel-efficient models.

Ford plans to invest nearly $14 billion in advanced technology vehicles in the next seven years. The company also said the DOE partnership will help the company retool its U.S. plants more quickly to produce fuel-efficient vehicles to meet the new fuel-economy requirements.

Nissan North America will receive $1.6 billion to retool its Smyrna, Tennessee, factory to build advanced electric automobiles and an advanced battery manufacturing facility; and Tesla Motors will receive $465 million to manufacture electric drive trains and electric vehicles in California.

Tesla said it will use $365 million for production engineering and assembly of the Model S, an all-electric family sedan, and $100 million for a powertrain manufacturing plant. The facility will supply all-electric powertrain solutions to other automakers, accelerating the availability of mass-market electric vehicles. The new facility will employ about 650 people, says Tesla.

These are the first conditional loan commitments reached as part of the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. The DOE says it plans to make additional loans under this program over the next several months to large and small auto manufacturers and parts suppliers up and down the production chain.

First appropriated in the fall of 2008, the program will provide about $25 billion in loans to companies making cars and components in U.S. factories that increase fuel economy at least 25 percent above 2005 fuel economy levels.

The Obama Administration recently raised passenger car fuel standards from 27.5 miles per gallon to a target of 35 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016. While 35 mpg is ambitious, the DOE said its auto loan program received more than a hundred applications for loans to help achieve greater fuel efficiency.

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One thought on “Ford, Nissan, Tesla Receive DOE Loans for EVs

  1. Regarding the politics of the DOE ATVM Loan awards:
    So it turns out to be all the best loans money can buy.
    Ford paid over $14M to elected officials and consultants in order to get the loan. Ford paid the third largest amount and Ford got the third largest loan. This is disclosed in public records searches and lobby filings just revealed. 21 elected officials had direct benefit from the deal.
    Nissan paid over $10M to elected officials and consultants in order to get the loan. Nissan paid the third largest amount and Nissan got the third largest loan. This is disclosed in public records searches and lobby filings just revealed. The law and public statements by elected officials state that the money was to increase American competitiveness for America car companies yet the money was given to a Japanese company who will send all of the profits back to Japan. 7 elected officials had direct benefit from the deal.
    Tesla paid over $100,000.00 to elected officials and consultants in order to get the loan. Tesla paid the third largest amount and Tesla got the third largest loan. This is disclosed in public records searches and lobby filings just revealed. Tesla’s filings show that their business model is unsustainable compared to competitors, that they were 200% off on the BOM of their car, that all of their first funding was wasted so they have to pay back twice as much to investors as competing companies and that their technology is so old, it all needs to be redone yet they still got money. 18 elected officials had direct benefit from the deal. Tesla did not even read the rules for the loan and planned to build a building when the NEPA rules make that option impossible so they had to restart the process, which is supposed to put one into a new cycle yet they were kept in the previous cycle and put ahead of Fisker, Bright and others who had applied earlier than Tesla. Tesla provided massively creative accounting records to show that they were financially sustainable and have issued numerous press releases to try to make people think that but, in fact, the truth is that they are not because of bad management issues that they cannot get past.
    The ATVM program was created by Ford, GM & Chrysler lobbyists to pad their company’s pockets and those three had pre-hardwired the entire $25B for their own pockets but something happened in the process when Senator Bingaman added a few key lines that opened the door for OTHERS to apply to build green technology and required that those who get the money were “financially sustainable” businesses. Back when the ATVM was authored to save Detroit, it was fully known that Detroit was going to go bankrupt. Ford had the same problems as GM and Chrysler but they went around the world getting bailout money instead of going first to US funds. As law required public exposure of the bankruptcy, Bingaman’s brilliant plan to finally create a green transportation industry was revealed. The very people that had stopped green cars for over 100 years suddenly became the first people to, accidently, cause them to happen but now others could do it too.
    Bingaman should get the Congressional Medal of Honor for pulling off this impossible trick and finally giving America the Electric Cars it should have had for the last hundred years.
    Once Detroit realized this, they tried to hijack the whole ATVM program with a takeback at the end of 2008 but that effort was defeated by a close late night vote. Now that it was out there, Detroit lobbyists and influencers fought to get the review of applicants delayed for as long as possible because they realized that, in a recession, most of the smaller competing interests could be forced to go out of business if they could just be kept away from the money for long enough. Major American TARP banks have said that the standard commercial loan process that each of these 26 applicants (not hundreds of applicants- There were 26 applicants in the round) should take 4 weeks at the longest and 3 weeks nominally. It seems clear that the loans were delayed due to political agendas and not process issues. It is not that there were no resources for the review as the Section 136 law provided over $10M in staff fees to review 26 people (Banks spend $10,000.00 to review 26 applications)
    Bright Automotive had applied on time, ahead of the others, turned in low overhead numbers and a great path too profit but they were virtually ignored while intensive meetings were conducted with Nissan, Ford and Tesla because those parties paid for it. The law says that this, and the purchasing of favors, gave those parties an unfair business advantage using taxpayer dollars, over Bright. A case Bright would easily win if they choose to run with it.
    Clearly, it isn’t over yet. Stay tuned for the Senate, Congressional, Ethics Committee and media reviews of this one. Watch for the charts connecting who-to-who. (It is OK to re-post this)

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