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Upscale Hybrid Maker Fisker Gets $529M Government Loan

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Irvine-based Fisker Automotive Inc. has been awarded a $528.7 million loan from the Energy Department to go toward development and production of its upscale hybrid electric cars.

Fisker is set to use $170 million of the money to finish production of its Karma sedan, which runs off a combination gasoline and rechargeable battery engine developed with Irvine-based Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc.

The Karma is due out next summer and is set to sell for $88,000 before rebates. Fisker also is developing a sports car, the Sunset.

The rest of low-interest loan is set to go toward developing a hybrid car designed for families and other users. Dubbed Project Nina, the car would sell for $47,400 starting in 2012.

The loan comes on top of $100 million in funding Fisker has raised from investors.

The federal money is part of a program designed to spur better fuel efficiency among automakers. Other automakers also have received loans under the program.

The Fisker loan is expected to support 5,000 jobs at the company, its contractors and suppliers, according to the Energy Department.

Fisker has contracted with Finnish custom automaker Valmet Automotive OY to produce the cars, with most of the parts expected to come from the U.S.

Valmet also makes Porsche AG’s Boxster and Cayman models.

*For more Fisker,

read an earlier Business Journal

article.

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