Fisker Automotive received a $529 MILLION loan guarantee from the Obama Administration two years ago to build an electric car known as the Fisker Karma. Fisker, a “start-up” company backed by a venture capital firm connected to Al Gore, is more than a year behind schedule,…AND the production has been outsourced to Finland…500 jobs went with it to Finnish firm, Valmet Automotive. Two have actually been delivered to buyers at a cost of $97,000 each. Forty Karmas have rolled off the Finnish production line. No one is saying whether there are orders pending for the 40, so that likely means there are no orders, but what we are hearing is that the Fisker gets only 20 miles per gallon when using the gasoline option – said to be “far less fuel-efficient” than the Chevy Volt.
The loan to Fisker is part of a $1 billion bet the Energy Department has made in two politically connected California-based electric carmakers producing sporty — and pricey — cutting-edge autos. Fisker Automotive, backed by a powerhouse venture capital firm whose partners include former Vice President Al Gore, predicts it will eventually be churning out tens of thousands of electric sports sedans at the shuttered GM factory it bought in Delaware. And Tesla Motors, whose prime backers include PayPal mogul Elon Musk and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, says it will do the same in a massive facility tooling up in Silicon Valley.
Tesla Motors also received federal loan guarantees:
Tesla’s SEC filings reveal the start-up has lost money every quarter. And while its federal funding is intended to help it mass produce a new $57,400 Model S sedan, the company has no experience in a project so vast.
A former Tesla board member, Steve Westly, is an Obama bundler who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the president in 2008 and for his 2012 re-election campaign….Tesla’s founder and CEO, Elon Musk, is a hearty political contributor who has primarily backed Democrats, including Obama. According to published reports, another Tesla investor is Nick Pritzker, a donor to Obama and a cousin of Penny Pritzker, the national finance chair of Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Both Fisker and Tesla say that “ultimately” their fleet of $97,000-per-Karma, and $57,400-per-Tesla will benefit the environment and the nation’s dependence on fuel. You can’t make this stuff up! More details here and here.