Obama-backed Fisker Automotive laying off most rank-and-file employees, exploring bankruptcy

The Solyndra-fication of the Department of Energy loan-guaranteed Fisker Automotive, whose many merits as a hybrid sports car maker were once hailed throughout the land, is almost complete. The supposedly green-tech company announced that they intend to lay off nearly all of their regular employees on Friday, and that they will maintain about 53 senior managers and executives — mostly to pursue buyers for the company’s assets. The WSJ reports:

Struggling electric-car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. is dismissing 150 of its remaining 200-employee staff on Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter. …

The company has been looking for a large investor or acquirer, but talks with at least two interested parties fell apart last month. …

The U.S. government, a big lender to Fisker, holds collateral on the company’s assets and could influence the direction of any bankruptcy. …

Fisker has delivered around 2,000 vehicles globally and at one point had 50 U.S. dealers, though the number has dwindled as its financial problems have increased. It hasn’t built a car since July and its primary battery supplier, A123 Systems Inc., filed for bankruptcy protection and was purchased by Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group Inc.

A123 Systems, you’ll remember, was once upon a time another Obama DOE-backed venture. Winning.

Shockingly, despite the Obama administration’s very best market-interfering and subsidizing intentions, the hybrid company just didn’t take off the way it was supposed to, dagnabit — so it’s really comforting that the DOE is getting back to dishing out those stimulus funds, no?

Despite a fiscal cliff and sequestration worries, more than $1.2 billion in cash payments for energy projects (in lieu of tax credits) have been issued by the Department of Treasury and Department of Energy since January 1, according to documents from the U.S. Treasury.

Through February 14, $1,254,769,726 was distributed by the 1603 program to 435 solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects. The vast majority of the projects—381—were for solar electricity. The cash payments represent up to “30% of the project’s total eligible cost basis” in lieu of investment tax credits.

The average 1603 payment made in the first six weeks of 2013 for all projects was $2.88 million, with awards ranging from $120.2 million for a wind project in New York to $4,000 for a solar project in Montana.

Sequester? What sequester?