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.