Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan. Piece of shit only runs 50 miles on a charge!

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Major Debacle, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125383160812639013.html

    WASHINGTON -- A tiny car company backed by former Vice President
    Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to
    help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for
    about $89,000.

    The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc.
    follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc.,
    purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla
    is a California startup focusing on all-electric vehicles, with
    a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors
    that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.

    The awards to Fisker and Tesla have prompted concern from
    companies that have had their bids for loans rejected, and
    criticism from groups that question why vehicles aimed at the
    wealthiest customers are getting loans subsidized by taxpayers.

    "This is not for average Americans," said Leslie Paige, a
    spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, an anti-tax
    group in Washington. "This is for people to put something in
    their driveway that is a conversation piece. It's status symbol

    DOE officials spent months working with Fisker on its
    application, touring its Irvine, Calif., and Pontiac, Mich.,
    facilities and test-driving prototypes.

    Matt Rogers, who oversees the department's loan programs as a
    senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, said Fisker was
    awarded the loan after a "detailed technical review" that
    concluded the company could eventually deliver a highly fuel-
    efficient hybrid car to a mass audience. Fisker said most of its
    DOE loan will be used to finance U.S. production of a $40,000
    family sedan that has yet to be designed.

    "It's the ability to drive significant change in fuel economy
    across a large market segment" that swayed the department to
    approve the Fisker loan, Mr. Rogers said. "We got quite excited."

    Henrik Fisker, who designed cars for BMW, Aston Martin and Tesla
    before starting his Fisker Automotive in 2007, said his goal is
    to build the first plug-in electric hybrids that won't sacrifice
    the luxury, performance and looks of traditional gas-powered
    luxury cars.

    The Karma will target an exclusive audience -- Gore was one of
    the first to sign up for one. Mr. Fisker says all new technology
    starts out being expensive. He pointed to flat-screen
    televisions that once started at $25,000 but are now affordable
    to the mass market.

    The four-door Karma, powered by a lithium-ion battery, will be
    able to run solely on electric power for 50 miles, and will
    achieve an average fuel economy of 100 mpg over the span of a
    year, the company says. Production is scheduled to start in
    December, with about 15,000 vehicles a year expected to hit the
    U.S. market starting next June.

    Many of the 1,500 people who have made deposits on the Karma are
    former BMW and Mercedes owners who want an environmentally
    friendly car without sacrificing luxury, Mr. Fisker said.

    He said he pitched the Karma to Mr. Gore at an event hosted by
    KPCB last year, and that the former vice president almost
    immediately submitted a down payment for the car.

    Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gore, confirmed that the
    former vice president backs Fisker and purchased a Karma. "He
    believes that a global shift of the automobile fleet toward
    electric vehicles, accompanying a shift toward renewable-energy
    generation, represents an important part of a sensible strategy
    for solving the climate crisis," she said in a statement.

    Fisker's top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers,
    a veteran Silicon Valley venture-capital firm of which Gore is a
    partner. Employees of KPCB have donated more than $2.2 million
    to political campaigns, mostly for Democrats, including
    President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the
    Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks
    campaign contributions.

    Officials at Kleiner Perkins didn't return requests for comment.

    Asked whether Mr. Gore had any influence on Fisker's
    application, the DOE's Rogers said, "None at all."

    "This is a very attractive, very across-party-lines kind of
    vehicle," Mr. Rogers said. "All of the detailed due diligence
    [was] done by independent review teams."

    Other Fisker investors include Eco-Drive (Capital) Partners LLC,
    an investment consortium, and Qatar Investment Authority, a
    state-run investor based in Qatar.

    Fisker's government loans will come from a $25 billion program
    established by Congress in 2007 to help auto makers invest in
    the technology to meet a new congressional mandate to improve
    fuel efficiency. In June, the DOE awarded the first $8 billion
    from the program to Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., and Tesla,
    which are all developing electric cars.

    Some companies that have been turned down for loans from DOE say
    they did not get much feedback from the department about their
    applications. O. John Coletti, president of EcoMotors
    International of Troy, Mich., said his company applied for a $20
    million loan from the agency last December, and last month got a
    one-page rejection letter from the loan program's director,
    Lachlan Seward. EcoMotors' lead investor is Vinod Khosla,
    himself a former Kleiner Perkins partner and a longtime campaign
    contributor to Republicans and Democrats alike.

    "I don't have an issue with the winners … it's possible somebody
    has better ideas than us," Mr. Coletti said. At the same time,
    he said, "More feedback from DOE on a timely basis would be
    wonderful. When you're running a business you'd like to know
    whether you're going to be able to take advantage of this

    Mr. Coletti's company -- which makes diesel engines and is still
    waiting to hear from the Department on a separate loan
    application to help it build a manufacturing facility -- isn't
    without politically well-connected patrons, either. Its major
    investor is Vinod Khosla, himself a former Kleiner Perkins
    partner who has donated to campaigns.

    Scott Redmond, CEO of XP Vehicles Inc., said he met with DOE
    officials twice in Washington after applying for a $40 million
    loan to develop a $15,000 to $25,000 hybrid, and that both times
    he was told his application looked good. Since receiving a
    rejection letter from DOE in August, Redmond said, he has been
    unable to get a full explanation as to why his request was
    turned down.

    Mr. Rogers said he was not at liberty to discuss individual
    applications that had been turned down, but said the process has
    been handled fairly and objectively.
    Major Debacle, Sep 30, 2009
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  2. Major Debacle

    Bill Putney Guest

    Hah! When you're a Democrat, it's different (borrowing a phrase from
    Jim Quinn). Elitism in its highest form.
    Oh boy. Here we go with the b.s. numbers. So it gets 100 mpg. So
    let's ignore the electric bill, eh? Numbers like that are meaningless
    unless you're telling the whole story, which of course they never do.
    Problem is that our politicians (and the general public that is into
    this sort of thing) don't have enough brains to know when they are only
    being told less than half the story when it comes to technology - hence
    they believe in "global warming" (oh - excuse me - "climate change" - I
    keep forgetting that they have quit saying "global warming" now that
    even idiots can't ignore the fact that things are actually cooling off)
    and things like this *new* Al Gore debacle.
    Bill Putney, Sep 30, 2009
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  3. Major Debacle

    W Spilman Guest

    So where's the fucking solution YOU'VE come up with, asshole?
    W Spilman, Sep 30, 2009
  4. Major Debacle

    PeterD Guest

    Over half a billion dollars for another Gore scam... Gore, the
    environmental disastar beyond belief! And, no that half billion will
    never be repaid!
    PeterD, Sep 30, 2009
  5. Major Debacle

    PeterD Guest

    Well thought out and cohernt reply...
    PeterD, Sep 30, 2009
  6. Major Debacle

    rob Guest

    nice response.....

    rob, Sep 30, 2009
  7. Major Debacle

    hls Guest

    How much does a gallon of electricity cost, Bill ;>)
    hls, Sep 30, 2009
  8. Major Debacle

    PerfectReign Guest

    PerfectReign, Sep 30, 2009
  9. Right. like he has to have a solution to know this one isn't it. I don't
    have a solution to fix what's wrong in Washington D.C., but I know THAT
    ain't right :-{
    Cunning_Linguist, Sep 30, 2009
  10. Major Debacle

    Bill Putney Guest

    Geez - Why the personal hostility?

    Tell me what the problem is first, then I'll tell you a solution that
    really works, not just some feel-good .

    Doing stuff that causes more harm than the problem you're claiming to be
    fixing and using meaningless "data" to sell it sure isn't the answer.
    Bill Putney, Sep 30, 2009
  11. Major Debacle

    Bill Putney Guest

    Umm - about the same as a kWhr of gasoline?
    Bill Putney, Sep 30, 2009
  12. http://www.fiskercarforum.com/?p=363

    Anybody should know better than to depend on the Rupert Murdoch-owned
    WSJ as their source.
    erschroedinger, Sep 30, 2009
  13. Gore is a partner in a firm which invested in Fisker. Your rant about
    Gore is stupid, and that's being polite.
    erschroedinger, Sep 30, 2009
  14. Major Debacle

    rob Guest

    what.....about 10 lbs of coal or a spoon full of uranium depending your
    electric plant?
    rob, Sep 30, 2009
  15. Major Debacle

    W Spilman Guest

    Back at ya' Hoss.
    W Spilman, Oct 1, 2009
  16. Major Debacle

    ad lib Guest

    As of 9/25, coal costs $52.30 per ton, call it 30 cents for your 10
    pound bag of coal. The waste product can be used for roads or
    construction materials. Burn and done. We're talking coal, not
    municipal trash.

    U308 reactor fuel averages about $44-69 per pound, but costs
    $700 per pound to reprocess. Direct disposal would be about half that
    figure, but it does not include long term storage costs, monitoring, or
    repackaging if the container eventually fails, as it will with all
    nuclear waste storage.

    The United States does not reprocess spent fuel as they do in Europe.
    Reprosessing or direct disposal still carries the same long term storage
    costs etc. According to the DOE, the cost of reprocessing the estimated
    2200 metric tons of spent fuel per year in the US alone would exceed $5
    billion. Again, keep in mind that there are additional costs etc.

    Currently, the over 430 active reactors in the world consume 176,000,000
    pounds of U308 per year. Spent fuel is the most radioactive of all waste
    materials and may have to be stored for hundreds or thousands of years
    using current methods.

    ad lib, Oct 1, 2009
  17. Major Debacle

    Bill Putney Guest

    Boy this guy really knows how to make a convincing argument. Two posts
    in a row.
    Bill Putney, Oct 1, 2009
  18. Major Debacle

    rob Guest

    he must be a GM driver

    rob, Oct 1, 2009
  19. Major Debacle

    PeterD Guest

    With significant litary content, too!
    PeterD, Oct 1, 2009
  20. Major Debacle

    jr92 Guest

    Gore is not stupid. He is GENIUS. And,alas, very CROOKED. . He has
    learned how to take an imaginery "event", global wamring,(or in the
    year 2009, "climate change"), and turn it into a source of vast income
    for him. Whether it is in recieving millions in government grants,
    raking in tens of millions in stocks of "green" companies, or the
    200,000 dollars a pop he comands for speaking engagements, all the
    while jet-setting the planet in his evil, carbon spewing private
    plane, he just keeps getting richer and richer.

    I only wish I were as smart as he.

    But glad I AM a little more honest.
    jr92, Oct 2, 2009
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