LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Department of Energy has closed on a $529 million loan to Fisker Automotive to develop plug-in hybrids and to refurbish a former General Motors Co. assembly plant in Wilmington, Del.
Fisker, a small company based in Irvine, Calif., says it will produce the $87,900 Karma sedan, slated to arrive by the end of the year. It also has hinted at a production version of a concept convertible, named Sunset, that probably will be similarly priced.
Fisker will use the loan in part to incorporate suppliers’ components into the Karma’s design. The engineering integration work will be conducted in Irvine.
But Fisker says its “Project Nina” sedan, slated to start production in 2012, will be priced at less than $40,000. The company projects annual sales of 115,000 vehicles by 2015.
The government loan also will retool the former GM plant, which is in the home state of Vice President Joe Biden. In a release, the Energy Department said the plant will restore 2,000 jobs in Wilmington, as well as many affiliated jobs with nearby suppliers.