Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Energy Department says it will lend nearly $6 billion to Ford Motor as well as more than $2 billion to Nissan and Tesla Motors. The three automakers are the first beneficiaries of a $25 billion fund to develop fuel-efficient vehicles.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the announcement at Ford's research center in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford will use the money to upgrade factories in five Midwest states to produce 13 fuel-efficient vehicles.
Nissan gets $1.6 billion to retool its plant in Smyrna, Tenn., to build advanced vehicles and a battery manufacturing facility. Tesla would get $465 million in loans to build electric vehicles and electric drive powertrains in California.
The loans were designed to help auto manufacturers meet new fuel-efficiency standards of at least 35 mpg by 2020, a 40% increase over current standards.