GM Boosts Request for Energy Loans for Hybrids

By dancurranjr On April 12th, 2009

2011 Chevrolet Volt Production Show CarGeneral Motors Corp. has raised its request for loans from a federal energy program by $2.6 billion to $10.3 billion to help build three fuel-efficient vehicles, according to a government filing.

The loans GM is seeking from the U.S. Department of Energy is in addition to its request for up to $30 billion in loans from the Treasury Department to sustain its turnaround effort.

The latest request was disclosed by GM in a report earlier this week. It comes as the Detroit automaker is racing to restructure its operations and extract concessions from stakeholders, including its and bondholders.

The Energy Department has set aside $25 billion in low-cost loans designed to help automakers retool plants and develop fuel-efficient technology. Although the department has received dozens of applicants, it has not yet disbursed any of the funds set aside.

GM said that it will use the $10.3 billion in energy loans to develop and introduce three hybrid vehicles, two of which will be modeled on the Chevrolet Volt, the extended-range hybrid the automaker hopes to introduce next year.

GM said that despite its financial troubles, it still remains committed to developing next-generation vehicle technologies. The most touted of its plans to do so is the Volt, which is expected to be able to run 40 miles on a single charge, at which point a small gasoline engine kicks in to help power the car.

Earlier this week, the Obama administration gave GM 60 days to continue its restructuring effort before it grants its request for additional funds. It also said a quick bankruptcy may be necessary, and ousted its former chief executive, Rick Wagoner, leaving former Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson in charge.

Shares of GM gained 3 cents to $2.12 in afternoon trading on Friday.

SOURCE: Business Week

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