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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ford, Nissan, Tesla Get Funding For Fuel-Efficient Cars

Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motors, and San Carlos-based Tesla Motors Inc, will all receive government financing to speed production of fuel-efficient cars.

Ford, which will get financing of $5.9 billion to retool factories in five states, will be among the first recipients of the loans within the Energy Department’s $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which promotes fuel-efficient vehicles, according to a department statement.

Nissan will get $1.6 billion to refurbish a factory in Tennessee to produce electric cars.

Tesla will receive $465 million. The bulk of the money will go toward retooling a factory to build its Model S – a more affordable electric vehicle than its high-end Roadster – and about $100 million will be used to fund an electric-powertrain manufacturing facility that will sell parts, including motors and battery packs, to other carmakers.

The technology development loans were created by Congress in 2007 to help automakers increase fuel economy by 40% to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. President Barack Obama has moved up that 35mpg deadline to 2016.

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