Monday, June 29, 2009

Report : Ford, Nissan, and Tesla receive U.S. Government loans for developing electric-powered automobile technology

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has finally announced its recipient of low interest loans under its Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVM). DoE announced their recipients for ATVM program would be: Ford, Nissan, and Tesla. Although Nissan is basically Japanese, Nissan however; have lots of research facilities and factories for electric-power in the States. Tesla on the other hand, are just small company created in California. However, their Roadster and Model S fully-electric cars interested the DoE. So all three companies will be receiving loans from DoE, to develop electric-powered cars under the ATVM program.

Among the loans, Ford took the most. DoE announced that it would be awarding FoMoCo $5.9 billion in loans through 2011; to fund numerous engineering advances in traditional combustion engines and electric-vehicles. The loan will also help Ford convert two truck plants to the production of small cars. On Ford's side, they stated that its $5.9 billion loans for electric automobiles will be used to build their first fully-electric car for 2011. The Ford Focus BEV will be produced in partnership with Magna International and features a high-voltage electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Ford said that the Focus BEV is just one part of Ford’s promise to deliver four new electric-vehicles in the U.S. by 2012.

Nissan, too, will also get a pile of DoE loans for electric-power development. For its part, Nissan wants to add production of its upcoming electric car and lithium ion batteries at its assembly complex in Smyrna, Tennessee, United States; therefore it will receive $1.6 billion in loans. Nissan promises the market, new, fully-electric, compact cars for 2012, on which the demand for compact cars will be increasing.

Tesla, being the smallest company in the group, took the smallest amount of DoE loans. Nevertheless, it seems to us that Tesla is arguably the biggest winner this round, as the $465 million loans that Tesla will receive; will allow the fledgeling EV maker to proceed with completing development and production of its Model S sedan. Recent investment in the company by Daimler, was probably a big help in getting the loan approved, as companies had to demonstrate viability.

So with the current troubled auto industry, the DoE is putting down its trust on Ford, Nissan, and Tesla, to produce more "demandable" cars, that are "fueless", and filled out with modern technology; all to boom up the auto industry.

Source : [Ford via Automotive News, subtitle required]

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