Green Is the Color of Money

Green Money

Finally, Ford gets rewarded for staying out of bankruptcy. Today it got a $5.9 billion loan from the Department of Energy to develop more fuel-efficient cars. Nissan got $1.6 billion, and Tesla (yes, Tesla) got $465 million—all coming out of a $25 billion pot to help car companies retool and get green.

GM and Chrysler got nothing, as they were not “financially viable,” per the terms of the loans.

Reportedly, Ford will use its money to “upgrade factories in five Midwest states to produce 13 fuel-efficient vehicles.” Nissan will build a new battery facility and advanced vehicles in Smyrna, Tennessee. Tesla will build electric vehicles (presumably the new Model S, below) and powertrains in Silicon Valley.

2010 Tesla Model SInteresting coincidence: $5.9 billion is the same amount Ford reported losing in its fourth-quarter 2008 report. GM lost that amount in its first quarter of this year. This activity is what the media calls “burning through cash,” and you’ll note that nobody rounds up to $6 billion.

Did these firms deserve it? Should other, smaller firms have gotten a piece of the pie? Give us your opinion, please.

—jgoods

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