Fed recoups $3 mil on $50 mil investment in ‘green car for handicapped drivers’

Fed recoups $3 mil on $50 mil investment in ‘green car for handicapped drivers’

Indiana-based AM General agreed to acquire the Michigan-based MV-1 wheelchair accessible vehicle funded by the Obama administration with a $50 million loan.

AM General said it had reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Energy to purchase the DOE’s secured loan to the Vehicle Production Group LLC. AM General bought the loan for $3 million.

VPG originally developed and manufactured the MV-1, the only U.S.-built vehicle specifically designed from the ground up to meet the needs of wheelchair passengers. Built in Mishawaka, Ind. by AM General at its former Hummer facility, the wheelchair-accessible vehicle ran on compressed natural gas or gasoline.

The Obama administration said it will lose money on the investment. It previously recouped a $5 million reserve fund, so it’s not clear how much of the remaining $45 million it lost. But chances are it lost tens of millions of dollars, since there was little outside interest for the start-up. The Energy Department auctioned off its outstanding loan in recent weeks to exit the troubled investment.

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