Fisker Buys Old GM Plant to Make ‘Project Nina,’ a $40K EV for Families

We’ve gotten excited about Fisker’s Karma electric car before–it’s dashingly attractive for an eco-friendly vehicle. But Fisker will only make a big dent in carbon emissions if it makes a family car. Which it will now do in Delaware.

fisker karma

Because Fisker stated, today, that it will be buying up a disused GM factory in Wilmington for about $18 million, and re-tooling it over the next three years with all the high-tech gear and robots it needs to get its family car rolling off the production line. This car is dubbed Project Nina, and it’s being built with the help of a $528.7 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. Part of that cash will go towards buying up the old GM plant–which closed in July of this year due to GM’s bankruptcy restructuring, and which used to manufacture such gas-guzzling beasts as the Solstice–and some $175 million will go towards the re-tooling.

That still leaves $335.7 million in Fisker’s pocket, which will presumably go towards the raw materials and 2,000 U.S. staff needed to put the Nina on the roads. Fisker plans to have a production run of between 75,000 to 100,000 Ninas per annum by 2014, which means it’ll have to move very fast indeed to rebuild that old GM site.

Fisker’s upcoming luxury Karma (pictured above because we don’t know what Nina looks like) is being built in Europe and will cost something like $80,000, but the Nina looks like it will be a U.S.-centric enterprise with plans to export some of the $40,000 cars to satisfy EV-hungry drivers elsewhere on the globe. Which is kind of fitting given GM’s former status as a proud ambassador of U.S. car tech.