Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
August 31, 2013
The Advance Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program could be making a comeback.
First introduced back in 2008 by then President George Bush, the ATVM program set aside $25 billion to fund advancements in green vehicle technology. However the program was suspended three years after due to two companies who took loans weren't able to pay them back. When the program was suspended, the Energy Department only gave out about 40 percent of the funds.
“With no sunset date and more than $15 billion in remaining authority, the program plans to conduct an active outreach campaign to educate industry associations and potential applicants about the substantial remaining funds available and the application process in general,” said Aoife McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the Energy Department.
Some people are not happy with ATVM making a comeback.
“At worst, the program threw good taxpayer money after bad. At best, it has risked Americans’ hard-earned money on projects that didn’t need it or didn’t truly advance vehicle technology. The program simply didn’t have the results needed to justify its revival,” said Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican from California.
However, the demand for ATVM loans might not be as high as it once was. Taking out a loan from the ATVM program means a company has to agree to to a set of pre-determined milestones. Miss the milestones and the Energy Department will cut you off. See Fisker Automotive as an example of this.
“Is this money better than money you can obtain on the private side?” said Alan Baum, an independent auto analyst at Baum & Associates.
Baum says the Energy Department will likely seek companies that are looking for supplements to their capital.