Fox Forgets Its Electric Car Success Story

Fox News is using the struggles of Fisker, an electric carmaker that received federal loans, to claim that the government only picks “losers.” But just one week prior, the network declared Tesla, which received loans from the same program, a “success story.” 

On Monday's edition of Fox News' America Live, Lou Dobbs treated the struggles of Fisker, which has reportedly hired a law firm to prepare for a possible bankruptcy filing and cut staff, as a reason that “we have got to get this government, and this administration, out of picking winners and losers, because all they pick are losers.” In 2009, the company received a $529 million conditional loan guarantee through the Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program, of which it received $192 million before DOE froze the loan. Later in the segment, Dobbs added: “I've looked at the winners and the losers. I cannot find the winners.”

Dobbs might have started by watching Fox News, which reported the previous week on Happening Now that Tesla, another hybrid electric automaker that received ATVM funds, was a “success story”:

Indeed, Tesla recently announced that it turned a profit in the first quarter of 2013 and plans on paying back its DOE loan five years early. The company has seen sales of its Model S electric sedan, which was named 2013's car of the year by both Automobile and Motor Trend, exceed goals set by the company.

Furthermore, even if Fisker does declare bankruptcy and we do not recover any of its assets, the loss would make up only 2.6 percent of the $7.5 billion set aside by Congress to cover losses:

Overall, plug-in electric car sales are rising, according to data from the Electric Drive Transportation Association:

Source: Torque News via EDTA data

Among the models buoying this trend are the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf, an all-electric car whose manufacture was also aided by ATVM loans.