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Bad Karma: Solyndra on Wheels

Written by Gary North on June 7, 2012

Maybe you remember the Karma. It is a high-tech “green energy” car made in Finland. It got a loan from the U.S. government for over half a billion dollars. You may have read about this in the Wall Street Journal. If not, let me remind you.

The loan was $529 million. The car was supposed to sell for $89,000. You might think this would have priced the car out of the range of the typical America taxpayer. That’s because you are a typical American taxpayer.

It seemed fair. After all, the government had lent Tesla Motors $465 million to build a $109,000 roadster. The Karma would be so much cheaper.

Al Gore signed up to buy one.

The designer promised that it would drive 50 miles on one charge.

That’s right: 50 whole miles. Or 25 miles out, and 25 back. Well, maybe 20. You always need a little headroom.

You must use gasoline to supplement the battery.

The Wall Street Journal added this:

Fisker’s top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a veteran Silicon Valley venture-capital firm of which Gore is a partner. Employees of KPCB have donated more than $2.2 million to political campaigns, mostly for Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign contributions.

Officials at Kleiner Perkins didn’t return requests for comment.

Well, the car has this little problem. It catches fire.

Also, it came in above the $89,000 sticker price. When a buyer spend over $100,000 for a snazzy-looking sports car, he does not expect it to catch fire.

Sticker shock is one thing. Catching fire is another. We read in the New York Times that the company is recalling 19 more of its cars. It already recalled 239 in December. Ten of these have already been delivered to buyers. (It’s not clear if Al Gore is one of them.)

In May a Karma parked in a garage near Houston caught fire. N.H.T.S.A. sent investigators to help determine the fire’s cause, but according to Lynda Tran, an agency spokeswoman, the investigation has not concluded. “The agency will continue to monitor the situation and will take appropriate action as warranted,” she wrote in an e-mail.

The problem, the company says, was traced to “improperly positioned hose clamps that might leak coolant onto the lithium-ion-battery unit.” But the company isn’t sure. They’re working on it.

More cars may have to be recalled.

The company says it will extend the warranty. That is good news.

Now, about that $529 million loan.

They’ll get back to the government on this one. One of these days, real soon now.

Continue Reading on wheels.blogs.nytimes.com

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13 thoughts on “Bad Karma: Solyndra on Wheels

  1. gunner48 says:

    Heil Hitler!

  2. gunner48 says:

    My freeling is every Politition that voted to give these FOREIGNERS a dime should be given a car and required to ride it every where they go…… I will supply the Marshmellows

  3. ProundPatriotToo says:

    You people do realize that the moment Obama cheated his way into the white house; that he has had the Federal printing press running. He has handed out our future financial slavery money to every country, especially the Muslim world, among others, ACORN, Black Panthers, Unions. Bad Karma, you bet your sweet butt. Obama the Karma Thug. But it's only f-a-i-r. Screw whitey and their children and great, great grand children.

  4. I't already looks like nobody reads you news. i will not read your news again. Shef. why didn't you post my coment?

  5. Survivior says:

    Let me remind you, W's trickle down theory in 2008 brought this country to the brink of depresssion. If you think today we have it bad, if we had a depression, it would have been worse.

  6. Taiji218 says:

    Survivor, you're showing your economic ignorance. Trickle-down economic theory simply means that you're rarely if ever going to hired for a job by a poor person. Having small business owners keep more of their money means they hire more workers–or else they buy expensive yachts and jewelry and boost the employment in the luxury boating and jewelry fields. It was generations of easy fiat money manipulated by the fed as well as Democrat-inspired shenanigans over at Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and the repercussions from that in the financial markets that brought this country to the brink of depression.

  7. Taiji218 says:

    Survivor, I apologize for implying you were economically illiterate. I didn't mean to be rude. Let's just say I identified a gap in your economic reasoning.

  8. Capitalism is based upon trickle down theory and is in harmony with Natural Law.. Communism is based upon trickle up theory and violates Natural Law (ex: water flows downhill, not up). When people are free to produce without government intervention, they build businesses that create productive jobs and everyone benefits. If their products are good, they win. If their products are not good, they fail. In Communism, no one fails … but no one succeeds, either, except by coercion and force. Do you want shared prosperity or shared misery?

  9. All you crybabies. People in the hood are dooing great with the wonderful things the president is doing for us. I just saw Thomy Sr. driving his new customized Caddilac Escalade. He pays for his food with the welfare EBT cards. He must have 20 of them. And BO has replaced the stolen $13 Trillion by the islamic sovereign banks with $50 trillion of worthless paper that only benefits those in the Federal Family.

  10. pitman9 says:

    It wasn't trickle down that brought the economy to its knees. The single largest factor was the CRA. That would be the Community Reinvestment Act. The Bush administration repeatedly asked Congress to act on this as it was creating a housing bubble by forcing lending institutions to lend money for homes to people who had no realistic way of paying it back.

    Carter pushed for the CRA and it went on Steroids under Clinton. Do a little research on it. It's depressing.

    BTW, W did other things that helped to put us where we are today. The prescription drug plan and TARP are two biggies.

  11. 2WarAbnVet says:

    A "loan"? Normally one would expect a loan to be repaid. We, the American taxpayers, will never see any return from this "loan".

  12. This must be the hottest car on the market. And this is where this president is investing taxpayer assets. The government should stay out of the venture capital business.

  13. Richard Adler says:

    Irresponsible journalism. I’m not for the government being involved with lending money to anyone but Fisker took advantage of the loan instead of raising more capital via equity. They’ve learned that the DOE isn’t so easy to work with and changed their mind- they are paying off the loan soon. Other misrepresentations you make regarding mile range and the fire is flat out lazy journalism. The car gets 300-350 on a single charge or before filling up with gas. It gets closer to 75 miles to the gallon. The car is absolutely magnificent and drives like nothing ever experienced. Take it for a test drive and see for yourself. Yes. It’s expensive and you will quickly realize why. With the new capital just raised, they will be on plan to roll out a midpriced car next year. Fisker will do to the automobile industry what Apple did to the portable music device industry.