V-Vehicle Wants To Reapply For $321M Loan

Energy Dept. loans, which were rejected last week, are considered vital for V-Vehicle's plan to build a new fuel-efficient car in Louisiana, creating about 1,400 jobs.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Top aides to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and Congressman Rodney Alexander have met with federal Energy Department officials to see how startup automaker V-Vehicle Co. can reapply for $321 million in federal loans.

The loans are considered vital for the San Diego-based company's plan to build a new fuel-efficient car in Monroe, creating about 1,400 jobs. The loans were rejected last week, but the company can reapply.

V-Vehicle spokesman Joe Fisher said the Energy Department wants V-Vehicle to have enough capital to be solvent without the loans. The company said it has raised $86.5 million in private capital. Another $87 million in state, local and federal grants had been promised if V-Vehicle obtained the loans.

Alexander's chief of staff, Adam Terry, said representatives had frank discussions with Energy Department staff and "have high hopes that V-Vehicle can address the concerns of the Energy Department and move toward a positive outcome."

Fisher said there was no timeline for filing a second application.

V-Vehicle had sought $241.2 million to revamp the closed Guide Corp. headlight plant in Monroe to manufacture the vehicle and $79.9 million to coordinate engineering with its 30 suppliers. Original plans had called for the vehicle -- specific plans of which have been kept secret — to be on dealer showroom floors in late 2011.

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