Gore’s ‘green’ car, $89 K — $529 M loan

Great quote from the article: The Karma will target an exclusive audience — Gore was one of the first to sign up for one.” But he tries to market himself as some type of green “everyman”; how can he be part of an “exclusive audience”?

And what is us with the government “loaning” (whatever that means in this economic day and age) money to what are apparently U.S. companies so that they can turn around and ramp up production in Finland and Great Britain? Exactly how does that benefit anyone here in the U.S. (other than the noble Al Gore)? This should show people exactly who and what Al Gore is: a greedy elitist who doesn’t mind selling the public a load of debunked crap as science, just for the furtherance of his net worth. When will people wake up to this fraud (both Gore and the AGW myth)?

From SwampPolitics.com:

Karma.jpgFisker’s Karma, a hybrid sports car, above, initially will cost about $89,000. The company also plans family sedans in the $40,000 range. (Photo by Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

The Swamp

by Mark Silva

We hadn’t had time until now to contemplate the loan that the U.S. government is giving a California-based company backed by former Vice President Al Gore that is building a hybrid sports car in Finland that will fetch about $89,000 a model.

The car is called Karma.

Gore, Nobel Prize-winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth, champion of the campaign against climate change and the candidate who collected the majority of the popular vote in the 2000 election for president, was among the first to put a down payment on one of the company’s “green” – actually gun-metal gray in the promotional model — cars, as the tale is told by the Wall Street Journal.

Fisker Automotive will draw a $529 million loan from the government, part of a $25 billion fund that Congress approved to spur development of fuel-efficient vehicles.

“Fisker’s top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a veteran Silicon Valley venture-capital firm of which Gore is a partner,” the Journal reports. “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.”

The Department of Energy tells the Journal that Gore’s involvement in the company had nothing to do with the loan – it was awarded on the merits of the design. And most of the loan will be used to finance U.S. production of a $40,000 family sedan that has yet to be designed, according to the agency, as the Journal tells the tale.

Another California startup that concentrates on all-electric vehicles, Tesla Motors, has secured a $465 million government loan to manufacture a $109,000 British-build roadster.

“This is not for average Americans,” Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, an anti-tax group in Washington, tells the Journal of the loans. “This is for people to put something in their driveway that is a conversation piece. It’s status symbol thing.”

DOE officials examined Fisker’s application for months, the Journal reports. They toured its Irvine, Calif., and Pontiac, Mich., facilities and test-drove prototypes.

The Journal quotes Matt Rogers, who oversees the agency’s loan programs as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, as saying that Fisker got the loan after a “detailed technical review” that concluded the company could eventually deliver a highly fuel-efficient hybrid car to a mass audience.

“It’s the ability to drive significant change in fuel economy across a large market segment” that sold the deal, Rogers said.

“Henrik Fisker, who designed cars for BMW, Aston Martin and Tesla before starting his Fisker Automotive in 2007, says 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 Journal reports. “The Karma will target an exclusive audience — Gore was one of the first to sign up for one.

“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.”

Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for 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 for the Journal report.

Fisker’s loan comes from a $25 billion program established by Congress in 2007 to help auto makers invest in technology to meet a new congressional mandate for better 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.

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One Response

  1. […] Fisker Automotive was a rather curious project for a government ostensibly interested in helping Americans get back to work. As it turned out, according to investigative reporter Mark Silva: […]

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