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· EX:Shadow/Canyon #324
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this quote from Ray Lane, now lead director of Fisker, in a Forbes article. The main subject was the failure of Bright Automotive, a maker of EV delivery vans that had been seeking DOE funds.

“Solyndra changed the world,” complained Ray Lane, a managing partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Fisker’s major backers, who says the automaker now has no choice but to look to China as a potential source of additional funds. “The Chinese have a lot of money, but they don’t know how to design (electric vehicle) platforms,” he said. Fisker recently hired former Chrysler chief executive Tom LaSorda, who has extensive business contacts in China, to help Fisker move on, with or without help from the U.S. government.

Lane thinks the U.S. is making a mistake by not doing more to ensure advanced vehicle technologies — and the jobs that come with them — stay in this country. “If you believe that in the next few years the car industry is going to become electrified, the U.S. has to take a position on whether we want to own it. My bet is not.”


Its too bad Fisker may need to partner with the Chinese and equip them to compete more effectively with the U.S. in yet another new technology area. But Fisker needs to ensure its own survival, and it looks like they will.

The entire article is interesting reading, and shows how the current political environment in Washington is hurting U.S. chances to lead the EV marketplace.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2012/03/01/is-america-blowing-its-chance-to-lead-in-electric-vehicles/
 

· EX:Shadow/Canyon #324
Joined
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1,218 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
AnOutsider said:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the flow of cash stop BEFORE the Solyndra scandal? If so, the idea that it was all about re election would seem less plausible at that point. I fact, didn't bright automotive just go under as well because the DoE hadn't approved their loans for years? It sounds like they're doing their job and vetting companies to me.

As for jobs, possibly, but without fisker proving it can do what they say, the jobs are a pipe dream anyway. How many times has the union workers in Delaware called fisker out for stringing them along?

If fisker can get Chinese funds I say they should go for it. I don't think there's much chance of them riding the "American made" wave any more. The brand is already seen as being barely American.
From Wikipedia:

In February, 2011, Solyndra restructured its loans with government approval, in an attempt to keep the company afloat. Two funds (Argonaut Ventures LLP and Madrone Partners LP) invested an additional $69 million as part of the restructuring, and Solyndra's debt to the government was subordinated to this new investment.

Solyndra was already headed south when the DOE cut off the disbursements to Fisker.

We have to remember that the DOE loan is about the Nina being built in Delaware. Fisker is an American company that has subcontracted Karma manufacturing to Valmet in Finland. My Maroney sticker says that US/Canadian parts content is 50%. All engineering is done in California. So the Republicans and the anti-EV folks can try to paint Fisker as some non-American company, but it ain't so.

As for pipe dreams, the Karma was seen as Henrik's pipe dream when the concept car was shown 4 years ago, and now there are hundreds of us enjoying driving one every day. I think it would be foolish to bet against Fisker and the Nina.
 
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