Start-up car company backed by Gore gets half billion dollar taxpayer loan

There are apparently a couple of different definitions of "green" when it comes to making environmentally friendly cars.

The first definition is the one you'd expect - electric or hybrid vehicles. The second definition includes the types of cars but adds the caveat - for the rich.

And the trifecta, recently won by an Al Gore backed start-up auto manufacturer is green vehicles for the rich, built by companies that give plenty of "green" to the Democratic party.

Josh Mitchell and Stephen Power writing in the Wall Street Journal:

A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000. The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla is a California startup focusing on all-electric vehicles, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.

"This is not for average Americans," said Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, an anti-tax group in Washington. "This is for people to put something in their driveway that is a conversation piece. It's status symbol thing."

DOE officials spent months working with Fisker on its application, touring its Irvine, Calif., and Pontiac, Mich., facilities and test-driving prototypes.

Matt Rogers, who oversees the department's loan programs as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, said Fisker was awarded the loan after a "detailed technical review" that concluded the company could eventually deliver a highly fuel-efficient hybrid car to a mass audience. Fisker said most of its DOE loan will be used to finance U.S. production of a $40,000 family sedan that has yet to be designed.

"It's the ability to drive significant change in fuel economy across a large market segment" that swayed the department to approve the Fisker loan, Mr. Rogers said. "We got quite excited."

Yes, I'm sure you got a great big thrill running up your leg, Mr. Rogers. Please point to any evidence whatsoever that either of these two companies have the "ability" to build products that will appeal to a "large market segment." They are Silicon Valley start-ups and if Rogers has the prescience to look into the future and see that kind of growth, he should quit his job at the Energy Department and go to work as a stock touter.

The guy could make a gazillion dollars picking stocks.

All of that aside, it's nice to know that our tax dollars are being used to fund new toys for the rich. They are going to want to buy these vehicles just to make themselves feel better after Obama raises taxes on them.

And if these companies are so hot, what the hell do they need government money for? Has the investor class, entrepreneurial funds, and others in the private market lost their ability to see a sure thing and simply taken a pass? Or are these investments so risky that Obama and his energy department were too busy to hit Vegas and Reno so they decided to gamble the taxpayer's money on these politically motivated giveaways instead?

And the printing presses are busy working overtime creating more worthless dollars for this?

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky