🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now

Automaker loans help fuel efficiency

Jeremy Hobson Jun 23, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Automaker loans help fuel efficiency

Jeremy Hobson Jun 23, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Today, some news about government loans to carmakers. But it’s not what you expect. It’s all in the name of making a more fuel-efficient car. Energy Secretary Steven Chu will announce funding to help companies update their infrastructure so they can start building more gas-saving models. Here’s Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson.


Steve Chiotakis: Up to $25 billion will be lent to carmakers, thanks to a program Congress passed in 2007 but didn’t fund until last year. It requires that the money be used to make cars at least 25 percent more efficient than the ones they’re replacing. The first recipients are reported to be Ford, Tesla and the Japanese automaker Nissan.

Nissan’s Alan Buddendeck spoke with me from the company’s Tokyo headquarters this morning. He says getting a loan would speed up production on a number of fronts:

Alan Buddendeck: The actual production of electric vehicles at some point in the United States, as well as the electric batteries, you know, the lithium ion batteries that are the heart of the vehicle if you will.

GM and Chrysler are reportedly not on the list for loans from the Energy Department, because they are not considered “financially viable” companies.

In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.