Fisker officials said more than 1,500 Karmas have been manufactured and 800 of those vehicles are in the hands of consumers.
Before this fire, Fisker was already facing questions about millions of tax dollars used to help bring the Karma to market. According to the Department of Energy, Fisker received a $540 million loan guarantee to the company. Federal officials explained $169 million of that was used to support engineers who developed tools, equipment and the manufacturing process of the Karma. The larger bulk of the loan is to be used to support the US based production of another Fisker car called the Atlantic, a less expensive electric hybrid.
Fisker has not yet received that larger portion of the loan, because DOE officials said it is contingent on Fisker meeting certain benchmarks in acquiring and retooling an old General Motors plant in Delaware to manufacture the Atlantic. That plant is not yet operational.
Department of Energy spokesperson Damien LaVera sent a written statement to Local 2 saying: "The Department's loan program invests in advanced hybrid electric vehicles because they have the potential to significantly improve performance and fuel economy for American consumers. Our loans and loan guarantees have strict conditions in place to protect taxpayers. Our loan documents require borrowers to meet certain milestones and other conditions prior to receiving loan proceeds. As has been widely reported, Fisker has experienced some delays in its sales and production schedule -- which is common for start-ups. As Fisker works through those issues and incorporates lessons learned from the production of the Karma, the Department is working with Fisker to review a revised business plan and determine the best path forward so the company can meet its benchmarks, produce cars and employ workers here in America."
In his statement to Local 2 LaVera also included a breakdown of the loan agreement with Fisker:
* Fisker's loan has two parts. The first includes $169 million to support the engineers who developed the tools, equipment and manufacturing processes for Fisker's first vehicle, the Fisker Karma.
* That work was done in Fisker's U.S. facilities, including its headquarters in Irvine, California which has 700 employees and plans to continue hiring.
* More than 45% of the components of the Fisker Karma sedan are manufactured by approximately 40 suppliers located in the U.S.
* The larger portion of the loan -- $359 million - is to support the production of Fisker's Nina vehicles (now called the Atlantic). Fisker plans to use this funding to bring a shuttered General Motors plant in Delaware back to life and employ more than 2,500 workers.
* According to public reports, this second Fisker car is expected to be approximately $50,000.
* To date, Fisker has drawn down less than $200 million of the $528 million loan.
* Fisker has successfully raised more than $1 billion in private sector investment to support its ongoing operations since closing its DOE loan.