Monday, September 28, 2009

American taxpayer to finance "green" sportscars selling for over $100k

AlphaNinja - Outrageous.

WASHINGTON -- A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.
The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster.

Completely ridiculous - the American taxpayer is subsidizing the production of automobiles that sell for (in the case of the $109k Tesla roadster) 2.5times the average (male) median income.

Leslie Paige of Citizens Against Government Waste says

"This is not for average Americans," said Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, an anti-tax group in Washington. "This is for people to put something in their driveway that is a conversation piece. It's status symbol thing."

Ah but the companies will eventually offer a cheaper option, closer to just 100% of an average American's annual income, though the car "has yet to be designed":

Matt Rogers, who oversees the department's loan programs as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, said Fisker was awarded the loan after a "detailed technical review" that concluded the company could eventually deliver a highly fuel-efficient hybrid car to a mass audience. Fisker said most of its DOE loan will be used to finance U.S. production of a $40,000 family sedan that has yet to be designed.
"It's the ability to drive significant change in fuel economy across a large market segment" that swayed the department to approve the Fisker loan, Mr. Rogers said. "We got quite excited."

Note that the Department of Energy -- headed by a man who said that Americans act like teenagers who don't know what's in their best interest -- "spent months working with Fisker on its application."

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