1st Gear: That Was Kind Of A Mess Anyway
This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place every weekday morning. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
The Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program, i.e., the Green Car loan program created solely by the
OBUMMER Bush administration, went on hiatus in 2011 after the recipients of its credit largesse started dropping like flies. But good news, for America, because it's back. Huzzah.
The Vehicle Production Group had a very interesting idea: a van built from the ground up for people with disabilities in mind, rather than an existing car retrofitted to accommodate a wheelchair. Unfortunately, despite a $50 million taxpayer loan, the company failed last year. But now they're back!
After a long, messy saga that included federal loans, hurricanes, fires, and taxpayers being out $139 million, Fisker Automotive finally declared bankruptcy in November. The good news is that Fisker executives were still doing great, right up until the end, even though no new cars had been built since 2012.
Wanna buy the remains of a failed car company that owes the federal government $168 million? You probably don't! But if you do for some reason, then you might just get your chance on Friday. Fisker's assets are being auctioned off by the government to try and recover some of its green loan money.
Despite having come under considerable fire and having handed out no money since 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it will revive its beleaguered "green car" loan program in earnest soon. They have $15 billion they can give to automakers. Here's how they can make more Teslas than Fiskers this time.
This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
The Energy Department's rosy website claims the government's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program has "created or saved" 37,000 jobs. A Jalopnik analysis of the current states of the five companies involved shows that this number is technically true, but not the way the government tells it.
It would seem as if the demise of The Vehicle Production Group, the now-defunct manufacturer of taxis and vans that received $50 million in government loans, is solely a tale of losers. But at least two big winners were involved: New York State Assemblyman Micah Kellner and his wife, who got a lot of money and a job…
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…
The U.S government's green car program has been under scrutiny with the recent failure of two of the companies that received the loan, including coverage of a $675 million lawsuit by an inventor claiming he was denied funding for his inflatable electric car company because of politics. What hasn't gotten much scrutiny…
The U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program, which floated taxpayer-funded loans to Fisker Automotive and four other companies, has been taking a lot of heat lately in the wake of Fisker's troubles. Critics now have another reason to be angry: The Vehicle Production Group.