Big Picture: The latest on the Fisker bankruptcy settlement, Lithia Motors gains silver LEED certification

Fisker plant in DelawareSettlement of the Fisker Automotive bankruptcy and bidding for new ownership continues to be dragged out – but the Delaware plant may survive. Hybrid Technology, led by billionaire Richard Li, has put in $55 million for Fisker’s assets. Hybrid’s bid had been rejected days ago by bankruptcy court judge Kevin Gross. Hybrid is offering $30 million in cash and is willing to cancel $25 million in debt that Fisker owed the Chinese company. Hybrid also is offering $5.5 million to unsecured creditors if they would agree to back Hybrid Technology instead of its rival, Wanxiang Group.

Hybrid Technology has also changed its tune on what will happen with the Boxwood Road plant near Newport, Del. Hybrid changed course after gleaning that many people in the court building were very upset about the shutdown of the factory. Hybrid is now willing to use the shuttered plant if market conditions demand it. On Friday, bankruptcy judge Gross said he would put Fisker’s assets up for auction to try to maximize the automaker’s market value. Wanxiang had told the judge that if it can acquire Fisker at auction and cultivate a market for the cars, they would have them made at the Boxwood Road plant. Wanxiang had been non-supportive of the Delaware plant before that court day, as well.

And in other clean transportation news…..

  • Lithia Motors, Inc., the Medford, Ore.-based and ninth largest US automotive retailer, has been awarded Silver LEED certification by the US Green Building Council. Building construction completed in August 2012 in downtown Medford used environmentally-sustainable building products, furniture, and furnishings; many contain a significant amount of recycled-content materials. The new building has solar panels on its roof to offset energy usage.
  • VIA Motors signed an agreement with Recargo, Inc., at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to include Recargo’s PlugShare charging infrastructure information in VIA’s in-dash electric vehicle application. VIA thinks the comprehensive charging station information will help its customers find a charge whenever and wherever they need one.
  • At the Consumer Electronics Show, Toyota said that its Toyota FCV (fuel cell vehicle) will go on sale in the US in 2015, one year earlier than the company had previously announced. The fuel cell vehicle will have a range of 300 miles and take three-to-five minutes to refuel.
  • Chrysler Group is going to start building its 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickups this month; that’s several months after it had been originally scheduled to start up. These 3.0L diesels are expected to be distributed to dealers in February.
  • The CBS series “60 Minutes” has been getting heavily criticized for its January 5th segment called “The Cleantech Crash.” The segment presented a laundry list of government-backed failures starting with the infamous Solyndra bankruptcy, failing to mention the large number of successful ventures.

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