MSNBC with Contessa Brewer and Melissa Francis

Lou Ann Hammond, CEO,  on MSNBC with Contessa Brewer and Melissa Francis. They talked about whether fuel-efficient cars will take off. Are Americans ready to end their love affair with gas guzzlers? Our current government passed the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) that mandates that auto manufacturers meet the new 35 miles per gallon (MPG) standard, a 40% increase over today’s standards.

This is the first distribution of the $25 billion loan program from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop fuel-efficient cars. These funds go to “financially viable” companies, which is why General Motors and Chrysler have not received any of the funds yet.

Ford received $5.9 billion in loans to retool 5 midwest plants. They asked for $11 billion and expect to receive the rest.

Nissan got $1.6 billion in loans to retool their Smyrna, TN plant to develop fuel-efficient technology. Nissan says they will mass-produce electric cars by 2012.

Tesla received $465 million in loans to electric vehicles and electric power drivetrains in California.

Will big SUVs become more fuel-efficient?