Fisker's Latest Model Stalled After Energy Dept Pulls Loan

By : Subscribe to Joseph's | April 4, 2012 9:38 PM IST

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Luxury electric vehicle company Fisker Automotive unveiled its newest model, the Atlantic, this week at the New York Auto Show, but the car may not hit the streets without a second cash injection, the company's chief executive Tom LaSorda said.

The Anaheim, Calif.-based company raised over $1 billion from private investors to swing to profitability while resuming work on a defunct GM plant in Delaware meant to produce the Atlantic. Yet Fisker Automotive is still falling short of necessary funding after the Energy Department froze a $529 million loan meant to spur production of high-tech cars.

The carmaker has already withdrawn $193 million of the now-frozen government loan for use in developing its Karma plug-in hybrid vehicle. But the company announced the remainder was cut off after delays in the Atlantic's creation, as well as the factory's slow upgrade.

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"It's been a difficult journey, but we are here," said the company's co-founder and designer Henrik Fisker, according to Businessweek, adding the Atlantic will be built, without elaborating further.

The Karma itself was marred by early problems, facing a recall in December over faulty batteries, with Fisker absorbing the cost of that glitch. About 700 of the luxury hybrid electric cars have been delivered to date, including 250 sold in March.

LaSorda promised Fisker would decide the Atlantic's fate by the end of the summer, basing the choice on the company's best interest and not the Energy Department decisions.

"If we get it, fine," LaSorda said regarding the loan, according to Business Week. "If we don't, we can still have a great company. We're going to build this car with or without DOE funding."

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