Funding dispute with the Department of Energy forces a delay to Fisker's 3-series rival

Fisker Automotive has been forced to delay its ‘Project Nina’, a range-extended saloon to rival the BMW 3-series, until autumn 2013 at the earliest following a funding dispute with the US Department of Energy (DoE).

Fisker is relying on $529 million of DoE funding to kickstart Project Nina, which will be built at the former General Motors plant in Delaware. So far, Fisker has received $193m of the DoE loan that has allowed it to begin to re-commission the plant and reach an advanced stage of engineering, design and development of the car.

But access to the DoE loan has now been blocked with the government department citing targets which have not been met.

DoE loans in the US have come under increased scrutiny recently following the collapse of a solar panel company that had received a loan and was unable to repay it.

Fisker is now renegotiating the terms of its loan with the DoE, but the delay has forced it to lay off 26 people working at the Delaware plant. The dispute has forced a minimum delay of three months to Project Nina.

The company says its first model, the Karma (pictured), is unaffected by the funding dispute and has delivered around 50 units to US customers and has another 2000 built and ready to distribute.

Join the debate


10 February 2012

Perhaps it will be delayed so much they'll start calling it Project Ninja.

10 February 2012

Clearly a knee jerk reaction to the solar panel company issues but it can't have been helped by Fiat who seem to have bent over back wards to hit US government targets.



It's all about the twisties........

10 February 2012

That Karma is gorgeous isn't it?

11 February 2012

A pity as startups like Fisker deserve to succeed.

13 February 2012

So if they have 2000 built and have "delivered" - i.e. sold - just 50 does that mean they have no orders? I agree the Fisker is gorgeous - all it needs is decent V8 and it would be just about perfect…...

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka