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Fisker Project Nina Off; Govt Funds Not Flowing In

Electric vehicle maker Fisker Automotive has halted work on its second electric car called Project Nina at its factory in Delaware, has laid off 26 workers, and is attempting to renegotiate the terms of its loan with the U.S. government.

Fisker was expected to receive a $529 million loan from the DOE (Department of Energy).

The company has been plagued by missed deadlines and other technical problems. Fisker Automotive so far has been awarded $193 million, from the allocated DOE funds.

In late 2009 Fisker was awarded a $528.7 million loan from the Department of Energy that it planned to use to both build its first plug-in car, the Fisker Karma, and start working on its second car to be “Made in the U.S.A” called Project Nina.

The company recently launched the Karma, which is manufactured inFinlandand assembled in the U.S. though that car was significantly delayed to market.

Fisker anticipated that Project Nina will ultimately create or support 2,000 factory jobs and more than 3,000 vendor and supplier jobs at theDelawareplant.

Project Nina won’t be a single model but rather a family of different body styles all using a variation of the automaker’s range-extended electric drive-train found in the Karma.

One key difference between Project Nina and the Karma was the adoption of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine sourced from BMW as opposed to the current GM supplied Ecotec unit Fisker is relying on.

Delaware economic development director Alan Levin believes that Fisker and the DOE are close to signing an agreement that will get the automaker back in action.

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