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.