Two Electric Car Companies, Two Different Trajectories

Ronnie Green examines the different paths taken by Fisker and Tesla, both DoE loan recipients: one succeeding while the other teeters on the verge of bankruptcy.

Published: 24-May-2013

They are two cutting-edge electric car makers, headquartered in California and backed by powerhouses of politics and money. In 2009, each secured half-billion dollar loan commitments from President Obama’s Department of Energy to help transform their clean-energy cars from drawing boards to showrooms.

But this week, the fortunes of Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive took sharply divergent turns.

On Wednesday, the Energy Department announced that Tesla repaid the balance of its $465 million government loan nine years early. Fisker, meantime, has ceased making cars as it weighs potential bankruptcy, confronts a $171 million loan balance with DOE and, last month, faced questions from the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.


Fisker Atlantic hybrid concept car.

Zero-to-60 acceleration estimated at 6.5 seconds and CO2 emissions approximately at 5g/km.

1000 Fisker Karmas have been delivered to date in North America and Europe..

The closely held company has delivered 1,000 Karmas, priced from $103,000, in the U.S. and Europe since December.

Fiske Atlantic prototype was to be built in closed GM plant in Delaware.

Matthew Mosk contends Fisker used federal loan dollars to build Karma in Finland, an accusation that Fisker will likely dispute.


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