The list of recipients of government aid for the production of electric vehicles has been announced today by the US Dept. of Energy and among those in the list are Ford, Nissan and Tesla. The funds are intended to be utilized in building or retooling facilities that will create fuel-efficient and electric-powered cars.
Although the fund, which totals $25 billion was established in 2007 under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan program, it has not been utilized until the present. However, since Steven Chu assumed the position of US Energy Secretary he promised to use the fund beginning April or May this year.
Chu announced at Dearborn, Michigan that Ford will be getting $5.9 billion to retool 11 plants located in five states, while Nissan will be getting 1.6 billion to retool its facility in Smyrna, Tennessee, and Tesla will be getting $465 million to aid in preparing its Model S sedan.
US President Obama has stated that these loans will provide good jobs and assist the automotive industry meet or even exceed the tough fuel economy standards set by the US government and cause the US auto industry to become competitive in the global market once more.
One of the stipulations for those accepting the loan included a fuel economy improvement of 25 percent. Ford will be using the loans to improve the fuel efficiency of more than a dozen of its cars including, but not limited to, the Ford F-150, Taurus, Escape and Focus. It is expected that Ford will be coming up with more advanced, greener and more efficient products.
Meanwhile, Ford has committed itself to become the economy leader in all the new models it will be introducing and to demonstrate that commitment it will be investing almost $14 billion in advance technology vehicles in the succeeding seven years. Among those who were not able to receive government funding due to their inability to demonstrate viability are GM and Chrysler, which requested $10.3 billion and $6 billion, respectively.