Everyone is waiting for Fisker Automotive to file for bankruptcy. And House Republicans are already planning a hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, on the company’s $529 million loan through the DOE’s ATVM program. (CEO TonyPosawatz and co-founder Henrik Fisker are expected to testify).
A few points of clarification, lest this become Solyndra Part Deux: American taxpayers are not on the hook for $529 million.
Fisker’s loan from the DOE was frozen in June 2011 because it failed to meet several production targets. The company only drew down $192 million, roughly a third of the original.
And earlier this month, the DOE recouped the company’s approximately $21 million reserve account.
“Given the obvious difficulties the company is facing, we are taking strong and appropriate action on behalf of taxpayers,” said Aoife McCarthy of the DOE in a statement Monday. “On April 11, the Department recouped the company’s approximately $21 million reserve account — funds that came from the company’s sales and investors, not our loan– and will apply those funds to the loan. These actions combined have already protected more than 2/3rds of our original loan commitment.”
Founded in 2007, Fisker raised a whopping $1.2 billion from private investors, including Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Ray Lane, until recently a managing partner at the firm, owns a Karma and serves on Fisker’s board of directors.