Green Car Loan Program Revived With a New Twist
The Obama Administration is bringing back the green car loan program, which helped promote the production of fuel-efficient cars by Ford, Nissan, and a variety of start-ups. The government says it still has $16 billion left over in the program, and it will soon offer the first new loans in years. This time around, the government plans on making it easier for suppliers of green engines, lightweight materials, and even fuel-efficient tire manufacturers to secure money. "This is good news for drivers who want cleaner cars, faster and cheaper," said Roland Hwang, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, reports The Detroit News. "A successful restart of the retooling loan program can help clear bottlenecks in the supply chain and ensure that clean energy jobs that might otherwise go overseas, are instead 'onshored.'" The green car loan program, created in 2007, allotted up to $25 billion to help companies open green factories. More than 100 applications were submitted at the start of the program. Controversial recipients included the now-bankrupt Solyndra solar panel maker and VPG green van companies as well as Fisker Automotive, which is now Chinese-owned. In 2011, the program was abruptly suspended. Despite these moves, the government says the program helped invest $14 billion for cleaner cars and produce 35,000 jobs across the nation. A $1.5 billion loan to help Nissan build the plug-in Leaf no doubt contributed to some of this growth. The deal also helped birth Tesla, a company currently valued at $28 billion. Source: Forbes, The Detroit News
Tesla continues to fight against the direct sales ban and has filed for an appeal.