Call 2013 the Year of Reckoning for alternative fuel vehicles. There has been a seemingly endless parade of green car companies shutting down, and it isn’t over yet. The latest victim is natural gas taxi builder VPG, which has suspended operations and will soon be sold to the highest bidder. But VPG has the best chance of rising from the ashes as a bigger, better automaker.
Vehicle Production Group, or VPG, managed to earn a $50 million Department of Energy green energy loan in 2011. VPG was the last company to receive a loan from the program, which tightened its loan requirements after the Fisker Fiasco. The company drew down the entire loan but has not made any payments yet.
VPG’s assets were frozen once the company fell beneath a certain cash threshold, and the 100 or so employees were terminated back in February. Despite this though, VPG reportedly has already delivered over 2,500 of its CNG-powered taxi vans, and has orders for another 2,300 units. VPG executives are reportedly in talks with AM General to be bought out, after which production would resume.
Source: Automotive News