Fisker Automotive has been cleared of any wrongdoing after Tesla Motors tried to sue the firm for allegedly stealing its technology.
Tesla claimed that Fisker copied its hybrid technology to develop a petrol-electric model of its own – a saloon called the Karma.
The lawsuit went to an arbitrator in June who has now found “overwhelming evidence” that “Fisker did nothing wrong.”
Both Californian firms collaborated to work on the Tesla Model S saloon. Fisker was originally sub-contracted to come up with the 2011 electric saloon’s design and interior.
Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker Automotive, said: “Tesla’s assertions of violation were baseless and neither brought nor pursued in good faith.” “We’re very pleased. Despite the burden and cost of Tesla’s lawsuit we’ve been able to keep on schedule, the Karma sedan will go on sale in 2009.”
Darryl Siry, Tesla’s spokerperson, told reporters his company “disagreed with the ruling.”
Tesla Motors has been forced to lay-off staff in recent months because of the credit crunch.
Today it announced new funding to the tune of $40 million, which it says will be used to speed up production of the Roadster and develop new models.
Tesla has already been forced to postpone its Model S saloon until 2011 – two years after the Fisker Karma is due to go on sale.