The past several weeks have been tough ones for Nissan, facing the closure of its Michigan design studio, a forecast loss of $2.6 billion and the cutting of 20,000 jobs worldwide. Nevertheless it is still making plans for the future, and electric vehicles (EVs) figure heavily in those plans.

To help bolster its ability to continue developing its EVs, Nissan has decided to apply for U.S. government loans from the Department of Energy, reports Reuters. The loan money was earmarked last year to help boost advanced automotive technology research and production.

"We are committed to the vision of energy independence, environmental sustainability, and the new energy economy, and we are hopeful that the U.S. Department of Energy approves this loan request," Nissan said in a statement.

One of Nissan's EV programs is the recently unveiled NV2500 commercial vehicle concept. The Denki Cube EV and NuVu Concept also preview future directions for Nissan's EV plans, though as yet little in the way of production vehicles have been shown.

In partnership with Renault, Nissan is working with NEC and Project Better Place to help provide vehicles for trial programs designed to work out the difficulties in building the infrastructure necessary to support widespread EV use.

The funding would help Nissan move forward with these goals, and though the initial phases of the application process have been surmounted, there is still a lengthy road ahead before loan money is disbursed should Nissan gain approval.