Department of Energy Loses Millions in Green Tech Loan

September 17, 2013

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recovered only about one-sixth of its $50 million green technology loan to Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG), a maker of wheelchair-accessible vans now under new ownership. The loan was provided under an Obama administration program designed to promote advanced vehicles. Republican lawmakers have blasted the DOE for its handling of the program, says Reuters.

  • The DOE recovered $8 million from VPG, including $5 million seized from the company's accounts in April.
  • The DOE put its VPG loan up for auction last month and collected $3 million from the sale.

VPG struggled to meet its performance targets and shut down this year. AM General had been building VPG's six-passenger MV-1 van, which runs on compressed natural gas.

AM General will now own and operate the MV-1 business. The South Bend, Indiana-based company plans to resume production, sales and product development of the MV-1 in 45 days.

Four other companies received funding from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program, including Fisker Automotive, Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Tesla Motors Inc. Will these companies be more successful than VPG?

Source: Deepa Seetharaman, "U.S. Sells $50 Million Green-Tech Loan at Sharp Discount," Reuters, September 5, 2013.

 

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