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  #1  
Old 02-06-2012, 04:12 PM
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Another Green Energy Company Stumbles

From ABC News (emphasis mine):

Quote:
Another Green Energy Company Stumbles: Fisker Announces Layoffs

By MATTHEW MOSK (@mattmosk)
Feb. 6, 2012

Fisker Automotive, the maker of an exotic electric sports car that is being built with help from a $529 million federal government loan guarantee, has announced layoffs at its Delaware plant as it tries to persuade the Department of Energy to send it more public funds.

The company says 26 Fisker employees have been let go from the Delaware factory where renowned automotive engineer Henrik Fisker promised to one day begin producing affordable electric sedans. A Delaware newspaper also reported that subcontractors working on the car venture have been let go.

"It's temporary," said Roger Ormisher, a company spokesman. "We're being prudent and sensible as a company."

Fisker was one of a handful of auto companies to receive sizeable federal loans to help support the birth of an electric car industry in the United States. As ABC News reported in October, Fisker's efforts have been beset by delays. And despite benefitting from U.S. taxpayer support, the company had signed a contract with a firm in Finland to assemble its first generation electric vehicle, a flashy $97,000 sports coupe called the Karma.

Accompanying the layoffs was an announcement that Fisker has approached the Department of Energy about revising the targets it had to meet in order to continue drawing money from the federal loan. Whether the Energy Department agrees to alter the terms, and invest more taxpayer in the Fisker venture remains unclear. Critics of the Obama administration told ABC News they worried that Fisker was at risk of becoming the next Solyndra -- a reference to the now-bankrupt solar panel firm that received support from a government loan program.
Excerpt. More at: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/fisker...1#.TzBceMjN2So
 
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2012, 04:45 PM
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This is a sad situation and leaves the taxpayer in a "damned if you do damned if you don't" scenario.

Best thing to do would be for an independant financial business board to look at how the companies proposals went wrong, find out the main financial issues and then either fire or seriously reduce the wages of all upper management so that maybe some funds can be clawed back.

The idea of what they are doing is good, but companies need to realise that using taxpayers money is not a bottomless pit and people need to held liable for this.

Depending how far they are into the project. If they are close to completion then letting it burn would not be a good idea.
 
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2012, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G10 View Post
This is a sad situation and leaves the taxpayer in a "damned if you do damned if you don't" scenario.

Best thing to do would be for an independant financial business board to look at how the companies proposals went wrong, find out the main financial issues and then either fire or seriously reduce the wages of all upper management so that maybe some funds can be clawed back.
I disagree - The best thing to do is to have these companies funded by private investors, not taxpayer money. If a business idea is sound, it can attract legitimate private investment capital. If it's not, no amount of government money is going to make it sound.

Quote:
The idea of what they are doing is good, but companies need to realise that using taxpayers money is not a bottomless pit and people need to held liable for this.
If their idea and product are that good, why aren't private investors putting their own money at risk for the potential of long-term gains from the companies' successes? To me, the first sign of a bad investment is that only a government (with just its taxpayers' money at risk) would invest in it.

Quote:
Depending how far they are into the project. If they are close to completion then letting it burn would not be a good idea.
Flip a coin. Completion of a product with no market for it is a waste either way.
 
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2012, 05:35 PM
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The pot running out of money is one thing but I very much doubt that they would have gotten $529 million federal loan garuntee if there was zero market for it.
 
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2012, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by G10 View Post
The pot running out of money is one thing but I very much doubt that they would have gotten $529 million federal loan garuntee if there was zero market for it.
If there was a market, where are the private investors? Why do they even need a government loan guarantee?

With a market, even a potential one, there are profits to be made. With profits to be made, investors will risk their own capital to benefit from those profits.

Why should the government care if there's a market or not? - it's just taxpayer money. As far as they're concerned, there's plenty more where that came from.
 
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2012, 03:45 AM
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New technology will always have failures. Failure to try new technology will be a massive failure.
 
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  #7  
Old 02-07-2012, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barr View Post
If a business idea is sound, it can attract legitimate private investment capital.
It is sound, its perfect - but its too radical for the people currently making huge profits in the oil and petrolium business (the folks who also run parts of government) so I don't think it will happen until that well runs dry.

Of course that will be too late in terms of saving the environment as it is now, only massive pressure from The People will make it happen any sooner. We need more protests and more coverage, this last year has been fantastic for sharing ideas and creating change.
 
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:43 AM
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happy_man is correct on this. The obstacles placed in the way are almost invisible but way too big at present.

For years now oil companies have managed to infiltrate the media and succesfully played down claims on the damage that it does to the environment.

The biggest players in the world are oil companies, heck, wars are caused over oil. Please don't think for one minute that anything risking a possible dent in their profits is not going to struggle to be releases.

In the end it will get through though not without a fight on the way.

@ Bob - Yes there is a market for this and as to why there are no private investors, this I can not answer as I have not done enough research into it at present. Though wasn't there a case in the USA where they made 'green' cars and around 1000 were released to the public. After a year or two, they were all called back and crushed and to this day, there are still people that protested about this as they do not understand why?

I recall watching the documentary on this and it was quite an eye opener.
 
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2012, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barr View Post
If there was a market, where are the private investors? Why do they even need a government loan guarantee?
To this one point...

A lot of investors do NOT want to risk their capital in the current economic climate.
It doesn't matter if the idea is good or not.
 
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2012, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G10 View Post
I recall watching the documentary on this and it was quite an eye opener.
Yes! It's called "Who Killed the Electric Car?" and yes, quite an eye opener.

And there's a new film (I haven't seen it yet, but my flat mate said it's great!) called "Revenge of the Electric Car" - so maybe things are on the up!
 
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2012, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy_man View Post
Yes! It's called "Who Killed the Electric Car?" and yes, quite an eye opener.

And there's a new film (I haven't seen it yet, but my flat mate said it's great!) called "Revenge of the Electric Car" - so maybe things are on the up!
Probably about as eye-opening as the 150 mile-per-gallon carburetor that some people actually believe exists and has been killed off by those evil oil companies.

Until and unless there's a major breakthrough in battery technology, there won't be a commercially-viable electric car available. When a battery has the energy storage capacity somewhere near that of gasoline or diesel fuel (and can be refilled as quickly), electric cars may start to replace existing gasoline and diesel powered cars.
 
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:46 PM
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It's sad to see this kind of company going out of business when some Europeen and Chinese companies are sucessful in renewable energies. It will be interesting to know why these US companies went pschitt.

Speaking of which, did you watch the documentary about environment and depletion of natural resources: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU

We are just killing ourselves...
 
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2012, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural Elements View Post
It's sad to see this kind of company going out of business when some Europeen and Chinese companies are sucessful in renewable energies. It will be interesting to know why these US companies went pschitt.
These US companies do fine just until they run out of government money.
 
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:25 PM
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@ happy_man - Thanks, I could not think of the name.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barr View Post
Probably about as eye-opening as the 150 mile-per-gallon carburetor that some people actually believe exists and has been killed off by those evil oil companies.

Until and unless there's a major breakthrough in battery technology, there won't be a commercially-viable electric car available. When a battery has the energy storage capacity somewhere near that of gasoline or diesel fuel (and can be refilled as quickly), electric cars may start to replace existing gasoline and diesel powered cars.
Bob, have you seen the documentary, because if you have then fair enough, but if not, I would recommend it before making a decision on whether it's true or a false documentary.
 
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:40 PM
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When Fisker was handed HALF BILLION + by the Obama administration
It was a great big deal. There was great fanfare. Biden boasted how many jobs it would bring to his home state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN
This is seed money that will return back to the American consumer in billions and billions and billions of dollars in good, new jobs.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-w...#ixzz1lvgy4PXZ
NOTE: As of the date of the news story above it HAD been responsible for creating 500 auto assembly factory jobs... in Finland. If there were billions and billions and billions paid out to those 500 people, I'd like to see about getting a factory job in Finland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Fisker
"We're not in the business of failing; we're in the business of winning. So we make the right decision for the business. That's why we went to Finland.

Source
"
Here's the record of Biden...
... modestly praising the brilliance of himself and Obama... they never doubted they'd "re-write automotive history"

[YT]3Y6vD3ujxW8[/YT]

Is there a market for a NINETY-SEVEN-THOUSAND DOLLAR CAR?
In this economy? No, not really. That's higher than the median income of the average american for a year. Was there a market when the economy was healthy? Well, not for a car that could charge all night and then run outta juice halfway to work.

So basically Biden's right,
They ARE re-writing automotive history. This looks remarkably like an update on the chapter covering the Edsel... only Henry Ford took the loss on that one... since he didn't have Biden and Obama to hand him a half billion in taxpayer funds.

Last edited by robjones; 02-09-2012 at 04:56 PM.
 
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2012, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robjones View Post
It was a great big deal. There was great fanfare. Biden boasted how many jobs it would bring to his home state.
Unbelievable to have so many promises from our politicians without concrete results.

Are they going to do that indefinitely? How long the people are going to keep believing in these promises? Are they more incompetent than ever?

It seems like year after year, politicians around the world are losing not only credibility, but also connection with their own constituents.
 
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  #17  
Old 02-09-2012, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G10 View Post
@ happy_man - Thanks, I could not think of the name.
Bob, have you seen the documentary, because if you have then fair enough, but if not, I would recommend it before making a decision on whether it's true or a false documentary.
You make a good point. On the other hand, I have seen so many conspiracy-based "documentaries" that I take them all with a huge grain of salt. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Most are lacking anything more than speculation, conjecture, and unprovable claims.

I will take a look at it.
 
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2012, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natural
Unbelievable to have so many promises from our politicians without concrete results.
Yep, its pretty disheartening. I keep thinking the invention of youtube might change things, hold their feet to the fire.

Oddly it so far seems that even with publicly accessible footage that proves the difference between their words and reality... They can do the equivalent of Obi wan Kenobe's jedi mind trick. "I never promised what you thought i promised... It was all the fault of the prior administration"...

To my shock, it works. People repeat the new version back word for word in a zombie monotone. It just f***ing defies imagination to see it happen. I swear the guy is gonna run as a reform candidate, and he's the damned incumbent.
 
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