After a funding dispute with the US Department of Energy, Fisker Automotive was compelled to postpone ‘Project Nina’, a range-extended saloon that will compete against the BMW 3-Series. The earliest that it could be released is autumn 2013. DoE was expected to provide funding of $529 million to kickstart Project Nina, which will be produced at the former General Motors plant in Delaware. To date, $193m of the DoE loan has been received by Fisker. This figure has enabled the automaker to re-commission the plant and attain a higher stage of engineering, design and development of the car.
However, the government department said that targets haven’t been met and so, the automaker has been blocked from getting access to the DoE loan.
The intensified scrutiny of DoE loans in the US was brought about by the collapse of a solar panel company that had gotten a loan and wasn’t able to repay it. Fisker is currently in talks to renegotiate the terms of its loan with the DoE however, the delay has prompted the lay-offs of 26 workers at the Delaware plant.
Due to this dispute, Project Nine falls a minimum delay of three months to Project Nina. The Karma, the company’s first model, is not affected by the funding dispute. It said that its first model, the Karma, wasn’t affected by the funding dispute and has brought about 50 units to US customers. There’s another 2000 that’s built and ready to distribute.