Fisker Has to Face Loan Block image

Fisker Automotive was forced to delay the range-extended saloon, called ‘Project Nina’, to rival BMW 3-series until autumn 2013, because of a dispute with US Department of Energy over the allotted funds.

For the Project, Fisker needed a $529 million funding from DoE, to start the redeveloping process of the former GM plant in Delaware. Until now, Fisker received a $193 million loan which helped the company begin to re-commission the plant and take the design, processing and development of the new car to the next level.

But the funding has been blocked due to the fact that targets have not been met. The company is behind schedule on selling its first car in the States, which also forced Fisker to rescale its personnel force. DoE also had to face the collapse of a solar panel company, which received a loan and so was unable to pay back.

Damien LaVera, an Energy Department spokesman, stated in an e-mail, “Our loan guarantees have strict conditions in place to protect taxpayers. The department only allows the loan to be disbursed as the company meets certain milestones and demonstrates results.”

The loan has been blocked since May, and Fisker is now renegotiating the terms of its loan with the DoE. The only solution for the company until May is to raise private financing to complete the retooling of the former General Motors Co. factory in Delaware to build EVs.