The $25 billion loan program was originally designed to provide low-cost government funds towards the development of advanced technology vehicles and parts but has been unused since March 2011. The Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program was funded in 2008 and awarded $8.4 billion in loans and still has $16.6 billion in unused funding. The U.S. Energy Department and the loan program came under scrutiny after two of the five companies that received loans floundered, including American automaker Fisker.
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In recent years, House Republicans have campaigned to end the program, but the Senate refused to give it the axe. But now that Republicans are in charge of the Senate, a stronger push is being made to terminate the program. Most recently, the program announced its plans to award a loan to Alcoa Inc. to produce aluminum for cars in Tennessee but no loans was ever completed.
Fisker Automotive had received $529 million from the program but ended in bankruptcy, resulting in a $139 million loss to taxpayers. Ford repaid its $5.9 billion loans, as did Nissan with its $1.4 billion. Tesla was granted $465 million, that was repaid nine years early.
[Source: The Detroit News]
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