FISKER CARS ARE CAMPAIGN BILLIONAIRE PAYOFFS TO OBAMA'S FINANCIERS!
The Grassley-Thune letter to Chu questions the portion of the funding that
supported the overseas manufacture of the Karma model, even though the
money was used for U.S.-based work.
It also asks a series of other questions about the funding for the two Fisker
projects, such as what “technical expertise” the Energy Department brought to
bear in evaluating, granting and monitoring the loan to Fisker.
A DOE spokesman did not provide immediate comment on the GOP senators’
April 20 letter.
But the department’s public affairs chief, in a blog post last October,
defended the Fisker financing despite delays in the Delaware project, as well as
the $465 million loan for Tesla Motors, a California-based manufacturer of high
-performance and costly electric vehicles.
Dan Leistikow, the DOE official, struck back. “Critics have complained that the
first vehicles introduced by Fisker and Tesla are more expensive, high-end
“This complaint misses the mark in several respects. First, both manufacturers
plan to start with high end vehicles and then quickly move to more affordable
product lines,” Leistikow wrote in October.
“These are start-up companies that intend to grow over time, so they are
following a common pattern for emerging companies: starting with a premium
product for a smaller customer base, and eventually moving to lower cost, mass
marketed products as they gradually scale up operations,” he added.
Leistikow also noted that other loans under the ATVM program have supported
less expensive vehicles. Ford and Nissan have received the largest loans under
the ATVM program.
But Grassley, in a statement, questioned the DOE support for Fisker.
“It’s important to know what went into the Energy Department’s decision to
fund the production of expensive luxury vehicles. The riskiness of loans to
companies that may or may not be able to pay them back deserves scrutiny. The
taxpayers can’t and shouldn’t have to subsidize these decisions,” he said in a
Update: An Energy Department spokesman defended the loan program and
the Fisker support specifically in a statement to The Hill.
“The Department’s loan program invests in advanced hybrid electric vehicles
because they have the potential to significantly improve performance and fuel
economy for American consumers. Our loans and loan guarantees have strict
conditions in place to protect taxpayers,” spokesman Damien LaVera said
Addressing the Fisker project, he added:
Our loan documents require borrowers to meet certain milestones and
other conditions prior to receiving loan proceeds. As has been widely
reported, Fisker has experienced some delays in its sales and production
schedule — which is common for start-ups. As Fisker works through those
issues and incorporates lessons learned from the production of the Karma,
the Department is working with Fisker to review a revised business plan
and determine the best path forward so the company can meet its
benchmarks, produce cars and employ workers here in America!!!