SiliconBeat reports that the DOE managed to recoup $21 million from a reserve account, presumably lowering the damage to the government below the $192 million the government gave Fisker before pulling the plug (pun not originally intended but I’ll take it). Sadly this will be of little satisfaction to Democrats and cleantech supporters hoping to avoid a Solyndra-like PR bloodbath. Fisker execs, including founder Heinrich Fisker, are expected to testify this week and in addition to the usual arguments against government financing cleantech and accusations of political influence, we’ll also be reminded of the fact that the Karma was assembled in Finland, not the U.S. (For an entertaining and thorough history of Fisker, see “A look under the hood: why electric car startup Fisker crashed and burned.”)
While Obama is in the clear, Congressional democrats will have to worry about mid term elections. They’d be well served to remind everyone of a few facts:
1) The AVTM program, which funded Fisker, was enacted during the Bush administration.
2) Tesla’s creating a lot of jobs.
3) The fail rate for the DOE loan program is still in the low single digits and the 90 plus of at risk capital is financing job creation.
Will the facts matter? Probably not. These are political games and when you’re a Republican and about half your constituency either doesn’t believe climate change is occurring or is on the fence about it, then going after Fisker is just business as usual.