Van Maker That Got Energy Loan Shuts Down

VPG of Michigan received $50M from feds

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 8, 2013 1:12 PM CDT

(Newser) – Critics of the Obama administration's efforts to boost green energy with the help of government loans have some more ammunition: A Michigan company that made vans for disabled drivers is going under after receiving $50 million from the Energy Department, reports USA Today. The start-up Vehicle Production Group got the loan because some of its vans were to run on natural gas.

The money is only about a tenth of the amount received by high-profile failures Solyndra and Fisker Automotive, but don't be surprised if VPG comes up on Capitol Hill. Back in 2011, the Washington Post wrote about the loan, noting that VPG was one of the portfolio companies in an investment firm run by major Obama fundraiser James Johnson. The company has ceased operations and laid off staff but hasn't yet filed for bankruptcy.

A woman exits the Vehicle Production Group's MV-1 automobile, the first vehicle designed from the ground up to be wheelchair-accessible, in January 2010.
A woman exits the Vehicle Production Group's MV-1 automobile, the first vehicle designed from the ground up to be wheelchair-accessible, in January 2010.   (Mark Dye/newscast)
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