$529 Million Loan for Al Gore's Hybrid Sports Coupe

What’s the most laughably outlandish angle of this story?

  • That the U.S. Government is loaning Nobel laureate Al Gore and investment bank Kleiner Perkins $529 million to build a car, and
  • It’s a hybrid electric sports model, and
  • It will cost $89,000 a copy, and
  • It will be made in Finland.

We’re also loaning Tesla Motors $465 million to build a $109,000 British electric roadster. That’s almost a cool billion, and it’s going to well-heeled Democratic contributors.

WSJ: Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan

The awards to Fisker and Tesla have prompted concern from companies that have had their bids for loans rejected, and criticism from groups that question why vehicles aimed at the wealthiest customers are getting loans subsidized by taxpayers.

“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.”

Not everyone who has applied has walked away with such generous backing:

Some companies that have been turned down for loans from DOE say they did not get much feedback from the department about their applications. O. John Coletti, president of EcoMotors International of Troy, Mich., said his company applied for a $20 million loan from the agency last December, and last month got a one-page rejection letter from the loan program’s director, Lachlan Seward. EcoMotors’ lead investor is Vinod Khosla, himself a former Kleiner Perkins partner and a longtime campaign contributor to Republicans and Democrats alike. …

Scott Redmond, CEO of XP Vehicles Inc., said he met with DOE officials twice in Washington after applying for a $40 million loan to develop a $15,000 to $25,000 hybrid, and that both times he was told his application looked good. Since receiving a rejection letter from DOE in August, Redmond said, he has been unable to get a full explanation as to why his request was turned down.

H/T The Daily Beast

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