It's a rare thing to remark on the government's hesitation to spend money these days, but that's precisely the case of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program. The government set aside $25 billion to fund the program last year, but to date, hasn't handed out any of the money.

The advanced tech that's being sought after is wide and varied, but first and foremost are hybrid and electric vehicle technologies. Lachlan Seward, the government official in charge of disbursing the funds says it's due to a desire to be 'responsible'. But today Edmunds revealed that Nissan could be the first company to convince the DOE and dip into the $25 billion reserve.

Nissan is seeking a low-interest $1.1 billion loan to make alternative-fuel and other low-emissions vehicles in the U.S. One of the first could be a gasoline-electric hybrid, followed eventually by a product from Nissan's electric vehicle program. Nissan currently sells the Altima Hybrid in the U.S.

For more on what Nissan has in store for its EV future, including the styling of the dramatic little car, expected to be based on the NuVu concept (pictured), check out our recent coverage here.