WASHINGTON - Fisker Automotive was awarded a $528.7 million U.S. government loan on Tuesday for development of gas-electric hybrid plug-ins.
Most of the low-interest Energy Department financing will go toward next generation hybrid cars, which start at about $39,000 after tax credits are applied.
The rest of the money will help finalize development of less expensive models.
Privately held Fisker was created in 2007 and utilizes the powertrain capabilities of Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc.
Fisker Automotive expects to create or save at least 5,000 U.S. jobs among auto suppliers and thousands more through making vehicles in the United States.
The Energy Department established a $25 billion loan fund in 2008 to help auto companies and suppliers develop advanced technology vehicles and meet tougher U.S. fuel efficiency standards.
Ford Motor Co, Japan's Nissan Motor and electric car startup Tesla Motors have also been approved for Energy Department loans.
General Motors Co and Chrysler have each applied for billions in aid and are expected to hear soon on the requests.
The Obama administration envisions 1 million plug-in hybrids on the road by 2015.
(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe and John Crawley; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)