POLITICS

Bad Karma: Founder of electric car maker Fisker quits

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Henrik Fisker, founder of electric car company Fisker, announced today he is leaving the company over “major disagreements” with management.

“The main reasons for his resignation are several major disagreements that Henrik Fisker has with the Fisker Automotive executive management on the business strategy,” Fisker wrote in an email to the Detroit Free Press and several other media outlets.

Fisker Automotive, which makes the Karma plug-in electric car, is weighing selling a large stake to Chinese company Geely, according to Forbes.

The troubled company was the recipient of a $529 million federal Advanced Vehicle Technology Loan by the Department of Energy, and borrowed about $193 million of that loan. But the DOE froze the unused portion of the loan because of failure to meet production deadlines.

The battery maker that supplied its Karma batteries, A123 Systems, went bankrupt last year and sold most of its assets to a Chinese company. A123 Systems’ failure halted Karma production completely. Fisker has sold fewer than 2,000 of its Karma, which sells for more than $100,000, CNBC reports.

The car maker planned to eventually build its electric vehicles at a former General Motors assembly plant in Delaware, according to CNBC. Instead, the company built the Karma in Finland, saying no assembly plants in the U.S. could build the car on a contract basis.

“Mr. Fisker’s departure is not expected to impact the Company’s pursuit of strategic partnerships and financing to support Fisker Automotive’s continued progress as a pioneer of low-emission hybrid electric powertrain technology,” the company said in a statement.

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