Electric Car Investigation

Billions in taxpayer loans for electric cars and U.S. jobs.
3:00 | 10/25/11

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Electric Car Investigation
Jobs jobs jobs since He was inaugurated President Obama has spent billions -- taxpayer dollars in an effort that was supposed to create millions of jobs. -- president under attack by critics who say all that effort hasn't created a significant number of jobs cost too much to. Tonight ABC's Brian Ross looked at two companies that received a billion in government loans and asks. What -- deal with it so far behind. Terry in the wake of the bankruptcy of the solar panel makers to Linda and the loss of a half billion dollars in taxpayer loan money. There's been a close look at other so called start -- Green companies that have received similar -- And in particular to electric car company said in total represent a billion dollar -- with taxpayer money. Cars the Obama administration says represent the future of the American road. They're sleek and expensive. This is the current 96000 dollar half electric half gas car. The creation. A famed European auto designer Henrik sister. Well it's a very very good looking -- -- -- the first district are off the line went to Leonardo DiCaprio. Other start up cars back the taxpayer money come from test all electric. It's roadster cost 109000. Dollars and its -- champion. -- Arnold Schwarzenegger and George -- But beyond the hype and the -- seriously. About whether -- billion dollars taxpayer money Obama administration has invested in electric car start ups are worth the risk. It is a major goal of the president as we can break our dependence on oil -- biofuels. Become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2050. The pace of the -- car He was only last week that the first forty of them were delivered two years behind schedule. With the -- himself giving Nightline a first look. It almost looks like -- -- -- even -- -- a four door sedan. And the prices just on -- 100000 dollars expensive it's expensive but -- forty horsepower. It's a luxury ride. The range on battery power is only 32 miles according to the EPA there -- little sister maintains it's closer to 52 months. If mistress as the car's style. Makes it different that other Green cars we want people to get excited emotionally about environmental friendly car. The decision by the Department of Energy to give this -- half billion dollar plus loan came with the promise that it would produce a smaller version car in Delaware. Creating 2500 jobs in vice president Biden's home state. This is seed money -- or return back to the American consumer. It billions and billions and billions of dollars in good new jobs. But so far the only cars being made of come off the line at this plant in Finland something the US government knew would be the case when the loan was approved. Fister says while the company make sure it only spends its taxpayer money in the US. It could not find any affordable place in the US to assemble its first line of cars. We're not in the business of failing we're in the business of winning so we make the right decision for the business that's -- them. That's fervent -- the company says it already employs 700 designers and engineers in the US. Decision to assemble the car in Finland. Was not received well by auto workers we talked with an occupied Detroit rally left the work should be done here not in them. Now Republicans in congress are questioning -- the Department of Energy approve the loan in the first place knowing in advance this drew would assemble his first cars and -- Not the US I think -- Department of Energy found out they couldn't do it in America it was time to pull the plug. As to the other electric car start -- getting huge taxpayer dollars Tesla almost another half billion -- It plans to build 20000 vehicles a year at the planet -- in California. Now being prepared for production to start next year. Test was future depends on the success of -- a family -- Model that's being seen here for the first time in -- little bit of a test track. Priced at around 57000. Dollars it to his style to compete with -- -- cars and BMW Anderson. While expensive there is a very robust market these are cars for -- wealthy Americans for average Americans. Well I don't know how you define -- -- wealthy test the vice president chairman O'Connell says the car will revolutionized auto -- This of out of all of this is the are -- -- -- -- big flat battery. That goes under the car provides a range of almost 300 miles before needing a charge us but some industry analysts including the auto columnist at fortune magazine say -- -- business plan. Doesn't work. The numbers just don't work Ryan I think unless test against the mark after going to be in bad shape in fact and test -- most recent filing with the securities exchange commission. ABC news and the center -- public and -- -- found this statement that the company expects continuing losses for at least the foreseeable future. If you don't make a profit leave it pay below. We will make a -- That's the plan and were executed despite -- is that posters change. Despite what we've -- -- securities exchange. The bottom line is that by their very nature all these start -- companies bring great risk. So it's a gamble every time the taxpayers' money is put on the board nothing is guaranteed. Except that there will be winners and there will be losers.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":14814351,"title":"Electric Car Investigation","duration":"3:00","description":"Billions in taxpayer loans for electric cars and U.S. jobs.","url":"/Nightline/video/electric-car-investigation-14814351","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"default"}