The US Department of Energy is trying to unload repayments of the loan it granted electric car maker Fisker Automotive following the company's failure to repay federal loans of US$168 million ($178 million).
Fisker won a US$528 million ($559 million) loan from the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles manufacturing loan program in 2009, of which only $192 million ($203 million) had been drawn down before it started defaulting on payments.
Despite additional capital from private and public investors, Fisker never declared a profit, instead losing more than US$1 billion ($1.06 billion) between 2008 and 2012.
The DOE stopped disbursements to Fisker in June 2011 when critical repayment milestones were missed.
Fisker is estimated to have produced around 2450 Karmas between 2011 and 2012, losing up to $37,000 on each of the $100,000-plus vehicles, according to a report by Reuters.
Last minute design tweaks are also reported to have cost the company up to $100 million before it had made its first sale.
Co-founder and designer Henrik Fisker left the company in March 2013. Soon after, Fisker defaulted on its loan repayment to the government after which most employees were terminated.
According to the DOE, it has already recouped more than US$28 million ($30 million) from the company’s accounts.