Election season tends to bring out the worst in people. Outlandish statements, name calling, attack ads – you name it. Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, everyone mostly agrees on this. We’ve heard a lot of reasons as to why Fisker didn’t get the rest of its Department of Energy funding, and political reasons rank near the top.
Originally, the DOE extended Fisker a $529 million loan. About $192 million was earmarked for development of the Karma extended range vehicle, which is currently being delivered to customers. The remaining $337 million was destined for Project Nina, which surfaced at the New York International Auto Show as the Atlantic. Recently, Fisker laid off workers at the Delaware plant where the car was to be made.
Delays in the project are due to a negotiating process with the DOE and Fisker over the rest of the funds. For some reason the government decided to not disperse the rest of the funds, at least for the moment. The reason? Probably has to do with the political implications. We’re sure the Obama Administration would like to avoid another Solyndra fiasco. The best way to avoid that though is to continue with the rest of the funding so Fisker can have the Atlantic’s future secure. Also, some of the blame can be laid at Fisker’s feet. They didn’t handle the launch of the Karma very well, and it has been said that they pushed the car out early in order to secure funding from the DOE.
Now, former Fisker chairman Ray Lane is deciding to pin the blame on Mitt Romney, the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee. He wrote an e-mail that said Romney’s attacks on DOE funding to ventures like Solyndra is hurting efforts to help Fisker, a viable company. “The DOE would have negotiated a new draw timeframe by now if it weren’t for Romney targeting these loans,” Lane said, according to the Delaware Online. “Irony is Romney doesn’t understand he’s the problem and he’s lumping a company that did $100m in Q1 with a company that’s bankrupt.“
Mitt Romney has called Fisker’s loan a “failed investment.” Lane plans to get in touch with Romney over his comments. Fisker plans to move ahead with the Atlantic regardless of whether or not it receives DOE funding. Atlantic is reportedly 95 percent sourced (BMW is providing engine power this time) and nearly ready to go if given the green light. Fisker’s former General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware is in jeopardy though. Without DOE funding, Fisker could decide to build the car elsewhere. The Karma is currently manufactured by Valmet in Finland.