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Fisker Karma PHEV headed to showrooms after company raises US$1 billion


April 20, 2011

The Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from Fisker Automotive

The Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from Fisker Automotive

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Following a series of funding setbacks that has seen the launch of Fisker Automotive's Karma four-door saloon plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) sports car pushed back from the initial late 2009 launch date a number of times, there's finally some good news. According to Gigaom, the company has surpassed its US$1 billion funding goal and plans to have vehicles in dealer showrooms in May or June and will begin fulfilling its 3,000-some pre-orders from June or July.

The funding comes courtesy of backing from investors including venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, battery manufacturer A123 Systems – which also supplies battery systems to Chrysler – and Fisker Automotive securing a load award totaling 528.7 million from the Department of Energy for green car manufacturing.

The extended-range Karma was first revealed to the public at the 2008 NAIAS in Detroit with a projected US$80,000 price tag. That has now increased to $95,900, with the car also going from the originally predicted 2,086 kg (4,599 lb) to around 2,495 kg (5,500 lb).

But despite the weight increase, little else, including the performance figures, has changed. Fisker is still touting a sub-six second 0-60 mph and top speed of 125 mph for the Karma in a Sport Mode that combines power from the vehicle's electric and internal combustion engine, as well as a range of 50 miles (80 km) in electric mode.

The car draws on the design and engineering expertise of people responsible for vehicles such as the Rolls Royce Phantom, Ford GT and BMW 5-Series, not to mention that Henrik Fisker is the man behind the Aston Martin DB9, V8 Vantage and BMW Z8.

Source: Gigaom

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Hmmm... Nine hundred pounds, or a 20% weight gain over their projected weight? Possibly due to DOT requirements? Frame beef-ups? I find it hard to believe that the performance hasn\'t suffered with that increase.

Still want one, though...

Steve Anderson

I love the car, but I\'m offended that this vehicle is getting $$$ from the government to manufacture a car that most of us will never be able to afford.


looks too much like an elongated z3 or 4 for my liking. The QuattroPorte still has the bar set for me.

Tubemate Nz

Once again an article that get it\'s facts wrong about the goverment LOAN awarded to Fisker.

The loan has not been spend to fund the Karma model but to fund development of the Nina-project which is about cars in the normal family car price range and to fund the restarting/retooling of the factory in Dellaware (a former GM facility).

In other words it may be the Karma is being assembled by Valmet in Finland (they also assembles Porches) but the government loan is helping create jobs in the US and not making cars for the rich. In fact Fisker is hoping to eventually sell manufacturing to Valmet so it could the money will help bring in jobs making other cars than just Fisker\'s own models.


Undoubtedly, the pedigree is excellent. The niche market of luxury sports car, to which it belongs, is ideal for development of systems for hybrid and electric drive, because there is no restriction on costs and one can use what is best in the market. Certainly, it will be a reliable , sporty and luxurious car. All that this market can offer to those who can pay.


Segius, are you involved in this project? \"Certainly, it will be reliable and sporty\". At 5500 lb it will be interesting to see how sporty it is and as far as reliable, that remains to be seen but for a first time car builder (Fisker) I wouldn\'t bet on it. Have you looked at how reliable the Tesla is?

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