What do Carbon Motors' BMW-powered police car, Aptera Motors' electric three wheeler, and Fisker's luxury sedan have in common? Two things: they asked the government for loans, and they're dead, as are more than half of the car companies who sought loans, according to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by Jalopnik.
Of the 18 existing or would-be carmakers we identified as having applied for loans under the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program, 10 have since faded into bankruptcy or ceased operations.
Numerous car companies, startups and parts manufacturers have applied for the loans since the program was established during the Bush administration in 2008. However, most of them were turned down or simply did not receive the funds they requested. To date, about $8 billion has been doled out to just five carmakers: Tesla, Nissan, Ford, Fisker and the Vehicle Production Group. The last two have ceased production and appear headed toward bankruptcy.