Saturday, January 5, 2013
Obama, Biden's buddies at Fisker fist-eff the State of Delaware on its electric bill
by Clifford F. Thies It just doesn't end with these eco-catastrophes. Now comes word that Fisker Motors has defaulted on its loan guaranteed by the State of Delaware, as well as is stiffing the State on the electric bill for its vacant factory. As is well known, Fisker was awarded about $500 million in loan guarantees by the federal government, on which it has defaulted. Not so well known is that it had also secured taxpayer subsidies from the State of Delaware. These things happened in 2009, giving Vice President Joe Biden, who had been a Senator from the state, a photo op. The State of Delaware provided the loan guarantees for the company's $20 million factory, which would "save or create" 2,500 green jobs. Somehow, the state also got hooked for the electric bill for the place, reported to have now accumulated to $400,000. Then - surprise! - came reality. After all the investment bankers involved took their up-front fees, at the usual rate of $10 for every $1 of campaign contributions, the company proved unable to cover its costs, and closed up shop, leaving the taxpayers to get stuck with the guaranteed loans. In the case of Fisker, it's so-called "green car" is the Karma, which it describes as a luxury hybrid. Coming in at $100,000, the Karma is priced similar to a BMW 6-series, a superlative, very well appointed, top-of-the-line luxury automobile. But, whereas the 6-series is powered (only) by a powerful diesel engine, the Karma is a hybrid, with a large, second battery like other hybrids, and furthermore has a solar panel on top. The hybrid technology, along with some marketing gimmicks such as an "animal-free suede interior," supposedly make it a green car. But, the large, second battery comes a price: because of the battery and related equipment, the Karma weighs 2.5 tons. In comparison, a 6-series tips the scales at a relatively svelte 1.5 tons. And, also for comparison purposes, a small, non-hybrid economy car might weigh only 0.75 tons. Because of weight, it is very difficult to register anything like the gas mileage you can get with a small, non-hybrid economy car with the Karma, and it doesn't. As to whether a Karma should be called a "green car" clearly depends on whether you're getting campaign contributions. Obviously, the jerk-in-a-boxes out there who love "green technology" just don't have any idea of what is really going on. Yes, let's subsidize 2.5 ton cars that only the rich can afford because it's saving the planet. Oh, and did I tell you what happens to these cars when they get wet? The attached image shows Karmas exploded on the docks in New Jersey when they got engulfed by the surge from Hurricane Sandy.