Breaking news of this week Ford Motor Company will now accept a different $5.9 billion loan from the U.S. government. Ford intends to use the money to increase their vehicle's fuel economy across a variety of vehicles, including an all-electric Ford Focus.
Ford has previously stated interest in a Focus EV. The next generation Focus platform should come out in 2010, with the electrified model hitting dealerships about two years later. Ford is also said to be working on an all-electric commercial van for 2010, and a plug-in Ford Escape Hybrid for 2011.
Another automaker taking the States up on its offer is Nissan, who will use $1.6 billion to develop electric vehicles. Nissan is ramping up capacity at their Smyrna, Tennessee, manufacturing facility. They hope the location will be able to produce up to 150,000 electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, California-based Tesla is borrowing $465 million to engineer their upcoming all-electric sedan. Tesla plans to price the sedan under $55,000, provided they can efficiently produce electric transmissions and battery packs. Recent reports suggest the firm will build the Model S sedan in southern California.
Companies producing autos in the United States will have to comply with new federal mandates requiring fleets to maintain a 35 mpg. The rules will go into effect in 2016.
More than 100 applications for aid have been sent to the Energy Department. Loan repayment will begin in 2012.