Chart of DoE Loans
Politics aside, the Department of Energy's (DoE) $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (AVTM) loan program has been at least mildly successful at financing technological advances in the automotive sector.
Tesla received $465 million in AVTM loans, which it paid back in full 9 years ahead of schedule.
Ford and Nissan both received AVTM loans and neither have defaulted on payments.
The controversial AVTM program has been largely successful at creating a competitive atmosphere for those automakers who seek to take vehicle technology to the next level. That's basically the purpose of the program, so we'll say it's done its job.
Unfortunately, politics got in the way of the DoE's AVTM program and effectively ran it to a halt in 2011.
Now, we're thrilled to say it's back in action.
Aoife McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the DoE, told Bloomberg that AVTM is back on via email:
"With no sunset date and more than $15 billion in remaining authority, the program plans to conduct an active outreach campaign to educate industry associations and potential applicants about the substantial remaining funds available and the application process in general."
Alan Baum, analyst at Baum & Associates, weighed in on the situation by telling Bloomberg this:
"I could see firms that are automotive suppliers that are trying to broaden their position in this marketplace."
Of course, as with any government loans these days, it wont' be easy to gain approval. Baum suspects that the DoE loan terms will not be beneficial to most companies and believes that the majority will seek private funding instead.. Baum believes that the DoE will now target "recipients looking for supplements to their capital rather than a main funding source," according to Bloomberg.
That's fine by us, as the government really shouldn't be an only source of funds. You should have to show that you can stand on your own two feet for awhile before the governments gives you that pick-me-up boost.
AVTM Loans in Detail