Fisker Karma

In the "it may be broke, but we ain't fixing it" department, the US government has decided not to shutter the $25 billion Department of Energy loan program geared to accelerate advanced-powertrain technology development, the Detroit News reports. Given the opportunity to cut a mere $6 million in funding earmarked specifically to oversee the $25 billion Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing program, the US House declined and the Obama Administration said that there remains more than $15 billion available in the program. Still, the program hasn't made a loan in more than two years, and there are no pending applications.

Both advocates of and opponents to the program can point to Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive as the yin and yang of the program when it comes to its relative success at pushing forward domestically-based advanced-powertrain technology. For Fisker and its Karma extended-range plug-in, the feds earmarked $529 million before freezing about $300 million of the proceeds because the company missed production quotas. Fisker, which is said to have lost about $35,000 per vehicle produced, is up for sale after making just 2,000 vehicles. On the flipside, Tesla, which took out $465 million for its battery-electric vehicles, paid off the loan in May, about nine years ahead of schedule.