Editor's note: This was originally posted on the Department of Energy blog.
Yesterday, the Department of Energy announced that we’ve now finalized a loan for nearly $50 million to the Vehicle Production Group – or VPG. The project will support the development and manufacturing of a new wheelchair accessible, fuel-efficient car, the MV-1, that will run on compressed natural gas instead of gasoline, produce low emissions, and create 900 jobs across the country.
This new American car company focuses on helping those with mobility issues by developing vehicles that allow them to travel comfortably and safely. The MV-1 vehicle was designed from the ground-up for wheelchair accessibility. It will provide new opportunities and more independence for Americans who use wheelchairs, while also reducing carbon pollution and supporting America’s automotive industry. This project supports the Administration’s commitment to supporting innovation and American ingenuity while improving the quality of life for Americans who use wheelchairs.
Once at full capacity, the company will manufacture more than 22,000 vehicles a year at its facility in Mishawaka, Indiana. Importantly, though, this loan will also support the domestic supply chain for these energy-efficient vehicles. This means that in addition to 100 jobs in Indiana, approximately 800 direct and indirect jobs will be created across 17 states for the assembly, part suppliers, production and sale of the vehicle.
This loan is part of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing– or ATVM – program, which is focused on supporting U.S. manufacturing for next generation energy-efficient vehicles and deploying technologies that will help reduce America’s overdependence on oil.
Now more than ever, we see how essential it is for Americans to diversify our energy resources to help grow our economy, improve our national security and protect our environment. VPG recognizes the potential in developing the next generation of American vehicles, and we hope that its project will serve as a model for other companies looking to deploy fuel-efficient technologies like compressed natural gas.
Daniel Poneman is the Deputy Secretary of Energy.