Battery firm’s bankruptcy threatens high-end carmaker

continued from page 1

While A123 announced in the spring that it would launch a field campaign to replace the defective batteries, about 2,000 haven’t been replaced, according to Fisker.

In separate court filings, Fisker has called for a bankruptcy judge to postpone A123’s bankruptcy auction for a month

A123’s troubles followed a string of bankruptcies by energy companies that received backing from the Energy Department, including solar panel makers Solyndra LLC and Abound Solar.

The Washington Times reported this week that while A123 Systems drew down about $129 million from its nearly quarter-billion-dollar grant, a federal database showed barely 400 jobs were created.

Energy Department officials defended the expenditure, saying not all jobs created were reported.

Fisker was awarded an Energy Department loan worth more than $500 million, though it drew down less than half of that money before the loan was frozen because of missed milestones. Part of the loan money was supposed to be used to start production at a facility in Delaware.

Fisker has found itself facing scrutiny in Washington and on the campaign trail.

Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last month questioned the Energy Department on its loan to Fisker, drawing comparisons to the failed solar company Solyndra.

The House members questioned whether private investors would reap lucrative tax benefits if Fisker went bankrupt.

Fisker also has found itself in the cross hairs of Mitt Romney during the presidential campaign. He called the company a “loser” during his first debate with President Obama.

“You put $90 billion, like 50 years’ worth of breaks, into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1,” Mr. Romney said.

A company spokesman later told Wired magazine that Fisker didn’t consider itself a loser, seeing as it has sold 1,500 cars, raised $1.2 billion in private equity and is expanding export markets overseas.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks