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Home > Feature Articles > Logistics and Vehicle Fleet Management > Autos & Small Consumer Vehicles

Fiscar Luxury Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle is Launched

When it comes to cars, an environmental strategy is no longer an option, it is a necessity. With the help of the Department of Energy, Fisker Automotive is taking action and making an investment in the future.

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Fisker Automotive has selected the Wilmington Assembly plant in Wilmington Delaware to build muscle-cars -- plug-in hybrid cars. Fisker Automotive is an American car company based in Irvine, California. The car was designed in Irvine, CA. And will be manufactured in Delaware. Huh?

The Nina

The plant will support Fisker Automotive’s Project NINA, the development and build of an affordable, family-oriented plug-in hybrid sedan costing about $39,900 after federal tax credits.

Production is scheduled to begin in late 2012. Fisker Automotive anticipates Project NINA will ultimately create or support 2,000 factory jobs and more than 3,000 vendor and supplier jobs by 2014, as production ramps up to full capacity of 75,000- 100,000 vehicles per year. More than half will be exported, the largest percentage of any domestic manufacturer. The DOE loan is conditional. In order to receive the funds Fisker Automotive must meet very specific milestones. Money is disbursed in small amounts only if the company successfully reaches these milestones. The funds will be repaid, with interest, to the American taxpayer.

Fisker Coachbuild, LLC and Quantum Technologies announced this joint venture partnership in September 2007. Fisker Coachbuild will provide exclusive design services for Fisker Automotive while Quantum Technologies (QTWW - a publicly traded company) will provide the latest technological advancements. Each car will feature cutting-edge plug-in hybrid penned as Q DRIVE exclusively for all Fisker Automotive vehicles.

The modernized Wilmington Assembly plant was selected for its size, production capacity, world-class paint facilities, access to shipping ports, rail lines and available skilled workforce.

“This is a major step toward establishing America as a leader of advanced vehicle technology,” said Henrik Fisker, CEO. “Wilmington is perfect for high quality, low volume production and will soon be the proud builder of world-class, fuel-efficient Fisker plug-in hybrids.”

Fisker Automotive has signed a letter of intent with Motors Liquidation Co. (MLC), formerly known as General Motors Corp. to purchase the Wilmington plant for $18 million after a routine four-month evaluation period. An additional $175 million will be spent to refurbish and retool the factory over the next three years. Funds will come from a conditional loan of $528.7M the Department of Energy awarded the company in September.

The loan is part of the $25B Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program (ATVM) appropriated by Congress in 2007 to help the United States lead in the development and manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles. The company’s first car, the Fisker Karma, will be the world’s first production plugin hybrid when it goes on sale this summer at retailers in the U.S. and Europe.

Fisker plug-in hybrid cars will help remove the country’s dependence on foreign energy by eliminating the need for 42 million barrels of oil by 2016. They will also offset 8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

The Karma

Through private funding, and at no cost to taxpayers, the company has already supported hundreds of American jobs by partnering with major auto suppliers to develop the world’s first production plug-in hybrid car, the Fisker Karma. This will put the American auto industry ahead of foreign competition. The Karma has been designed and engineered in the U.S. with the majority (65% by cost) of its parts sourced from American suppliers. Fisker Automotive searched for a U.S. plant to assemble the Karma, but none were willing or able to build the 15,000 of these advanced vehicles per year Fisker required. The low-volume Karma will therefore be assembled in Finland by Valmet Automotive, one of the most respected contract auto builders in the world. The next generation Karma will be built entirely in the U.S.

Henrik Fisher, CEO...

"The DOE loan to Fisker Automotive represents just two percent of the agency’s $25B Advanced Technologies Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVMLP), created by Congress in November 2008 to help promote the development of energy-efficient, advancedtechnology vehicles. American cars have long been underrepresented in the global marketplace, especially those in premium segments. The U.S. used to be known for building the most exciting and desirable cars in the world. It is time America is again at the forefront, and gives buyers the choice to purchase a desirable environmentally friendly car.

"When it comes to cars, an environmental strategy is no longer an option, it is a necessity. With the help of the Department of Energy, Fisker Automotive is taking action and making an investment in the future. We are immensely proud of what we are doing, and that we are doing it here in America."

Fisker Automotive

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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