Fisker Struggles Mark Blow to Obama’s Electric-Car Goal
By Angela Greiling Keane & Alan Ohnsman - Apr 8, 2013 11:07 AM ET
The possible bankruptcy of Fisker Automotive Inc., which last week fired three-quarters of its workforce, is the latest blow to President Barack Obama’s goal of having 1 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015.
Fisker’s downfall after receiving $193 million in U.S. taxpayer money and producing 2,500 cars may complete the U.S. government’s transformation from electric-vehicle promoter and financier to debt collector, two years after it approved its last loan.
Obama’s goal was “misguided” in the first place, putting the administration’s eagerness to rush out loans and grants while money was available ahead of due diligence, said Menahem Anderman, president of Total Battery Consulting Inc., in Oregon House, California.
“The timing was based on the government’s spending schedule rather than the schedule of the market and the readiness of the technology,” Anderman said. “You had a very complex vehicle to produce, a questionable market, in terms of demand, with a team that hadn’t proven it could build it or sell it.”