(a) Congressional policy
It is the policy of the Congress to assist in the introduction into the Nation’s transportation fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles and to assure that qualified small business concerns and other qualified borrowers are not excluded from participation in such development due to lack of adequate capital. Accordingly, it is the policy of the Congress to provide guarantees of loans made for such purposes.
(b) Encouragement of commercial production; purpose of loans
Terms Used In 15 USC 2509
- Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
- Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
- association: when used in reference to a corporation, shall be deemed to embrace the words "successors and assigns of such company or association" in like manner as if these last-named words, or words of similar import, were expressed. See 1 USC 5
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
- hybrid vehicle: means a vehicle propelled by a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine or other power source and components thereof. See 15 USC 2502
- Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
- Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
- project: means the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Project established under section 2503(a) of this title. See 15 USC 2502
- Public debt: Cumulative amounts borrowed by the Treasury Department or the Federal Financing Bank from the public or from another fund or account. The public debt does not include agency debt (amounts borrowed by other agencies of the Federal Government). The total public debt is subject to a statutory limit.
- vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 1 USC 4
- vessel: includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. See 1 USC 3
In order to encourage the commercial production of electric and hybrid vehicles, the Secretary of Energy is authorized to guarantee, and to enter into commitments to guarantee, principal and interest on loans made by lenders to qualified borrowers, primarily small business concerns, for the purposes of–
(1) research and development related to electric and hybrid vehicle technology;
(2) prototype development for such vehicles and parts thereof;
(3) construction of capital equipment related to research on, and development and production of, electric and hybrid vehicles and components; or
(4) initial operating expenses associated with the development and production of electric and hybrid vehicles and components.
(c) Maximum amount of loan guarantee
Any guarantee under this section shall apply only to so much of the principal amount of the loan involved as does not exceed 90 percentum of the aggregate cost of the activity with respect to which the loan is made.
(d) Terms and conditions of guarantee
Loan guarantees under this section shall be on such terms and conditions as the Secretary of Energy determines, except that a guarantee shall be made under this section only if–
(1) the loan bears interest at a rate not to exceed such annual percent on the principal obligation outstanding as the Secretary of Energy determines to be reasonable, taking into account the range of interest rates prevailing in the private sector for similar loans and risks by the United States;
(2) the terms of such loan require full repayment over a period not to exceed 15 years;
(3) in the judgment of the Secretary of Energy, the amount of the loan (when combined with amounts available to the qualified borrower from other sources) will be sufficient to carry out the activity with respect to which the loan is made;
(4) in the judgment of the Secretary of Energy, there is reasonable assurance of repayment of the loan by the qualified borrower; and
(5) no loan shall be guaranteed by the Secretary of Energy under subsection (b) unless the Secretary of Energy finds that no other reasonable means of financing or refinancing is reasonably available to the applicant.
(e) Maximum guarantee per loan; maximum of aggregate guarantees; Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Development Fund; establishment, funding, etc.
(1) The amount of the guarantee of any loan shall not exceed $3,000,000, unless the Secretary of Energy finds that a higher guarantee level for specific loan guarantees is necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter. If the Secretary of Energy makes such finding, he shall immediately report that finding to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
(2) The aggregate amount of guarantees outstanding under this section at any one time shall not exceed $60,000,000.
(3)(A) There is established in the Treasury of the United States an Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Development Fund (hereinafter in this paragraph referred to as the “fund”), which shall be available to the Secretary of Energy for carrying out the loan guarantee and principal and interest assistance program authorized by this chapter, including the payment of administrative expenses incurred in connection therewith. Moneys in the fund not needed for current operations may, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, be invested in bonds or other obligations of, or guaranteed by, the United States.
(B) There shall be paid into the fund such part of the amounts appropriated pursuant to section 2514 of this title as the Secretary of Energy deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter and such amounts as may be returned to the United States pursuant to subsection (g) of this section, and the amounts in the fund shall remain available until expended, except that after the expiration of the 7-year period established by subsection (h) of this section such amounts in the fund as are not required to secure outstanding guarantee obligations shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury.
(C) If at any time the moneys available in the fund are insufficient to enable the Secretary of Energy to discharge his responsibilities under this section, he shall issue to the Secretary of the Treasury notes or other obligations in such forms and denominations, bearing such maturities, and subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. This borrowing authority shall be effective only to such extent or in such amounts as are specified in appropriation Acts. Such authority shall be without fiscal year limitation. Redemption of such notes or obligations shall be made by the Secretary of Energy from appropriations or other moneys available under this chapter. Such notes or other obligations shall bear interest at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, which shall not be less than a rate determined by taking into consideration the average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable maturities during the month preceding the issuance of the notes or other obligations. The Secretary of the Treasury shall purchase any notes or other obligations issued hereunder and for that purpose he is authorized to use as a public debt transaction the proceeds from the sale of any securities issued under chapter 31 of title 31, and the purposes for which securities may be issued under that chapter are extended to include any purchase of such notes or obligations. The Secretary of the Treasury may at any time sell any of the notes or other obligations acquired by him under this subsection. All redemptions, purchases, and sales by the Secretary of the Treasury of such notes or other obligations shall be treated as public debt transactions of the United States.
(D) Business-type financial reports covering the operations of the fund shall be submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of Energy annually upon the completion of the appropriate accounting period.
(f) Qualified borrower
As used in this section, the term “qualified borrower” means any partnership, corporation, or other legal entity which (as determined by the Secretary of Energy) has presented satisfactory evidence of an interest in electric or hybrid vehicle technology and is capable of performing research or completing the development and production of electric or hybrid vehicles or any components thereof in an acceptable manner.
(g) Payment of principal and interest; default; recovery of losses
(1) With respect to any loan guaranteed pursuant to this section, the Secretary of Energy is authorized to enter into a contract to pay, and to pay, the lender for and on behalf of the borrower the principal and interest charges which become due and payable on the unpaid balance of such loan if the Secretary of Energy finds–
(A) that the borrower is unable to meet principal and interest charges, that it is in the public interest to permit the borrower to continue to pursue the purposes of the project, and that the probable net cost to the Federal Government in paying such principal will be less than that which would result in the event of a default; and
(B) that the amount of such principal and interest charges which the Secretary of Energy is authorized to pay shall be no greater than the amount of principal and interest which the borrower is obligated to pay under the loan agreement.
(2) In the event of any default by a qualified borrower on a guaranteed loan, the Secretary of Energy is authorized to make payment in accordance with the guarantee, and the Attorney General shall take such action as may be appropriate to recover the amounts of such payments (including any payment of principal and interest under paragraph (1)) from such assets of the defaulting borrower as are associated with the activity with respect to which the loan was made or from any other surety included in the terms of the guarantee.
(h) Seven year limitation
No loan guarantee shall be made, or interest assistance contracts entered into, pursuant to this section, after the expiration of the 7-year period following September 17, 1976.
(i) Citizenship of applicant; corporations; waiver
An applicant seeking a guarantee under this section must be a citizen or national of the United States. A corporation, partnership, firm, or association shall not be deemed to be a citizen or national of the United States unless the Secretary of Energy determines that it satisfactorily meets all the requirements of section 50501 of title 46, for determining such citizenship, except that the provisions in subsections (a) and (b) of such section 50501 concerning (1) the citizenship of officers or directors of a corporation, and (2) the interest required to be owned in the case of a corporation, association, or partnership operating a vessel in the coastwise trade, shall not be applicable. The Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may waive such requirements in the case of a corporation, partnership, firm, or association, controlling interest in which is owned by citizens of countries which are participants in the International Energy Agreement.
(j) Pledge of full faith and credit of United States
The full faith and credit of the United States is pledged to the payment of all obligations incurred under this section.