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Fisker Automotive's Karma sedan PHEV finally on sale

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October 20, 2011

Fisker Automotive's 2012 Karma sedan PHEV is now selling

Fisker Automotive's 2012 Karma sedan PHEV is now selling

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Having unveiled the Fisker Karma at NAIAS 2008, Fisker Automotive had originally intended to begin sales of the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in late 2009, but funding setbacks saw the car's launch date delayed several times. With the first deliveries to fulfill early customer orders taking place in late July this year, the wait is now finally over for U.S. retail customers with the 2012 model year Karma sedan hitting showroom floors after the vehicle received certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week.

Along with the Chevy Volt, the Karma sedan is one of the world's first true electric vehicles (EV) with extended range, and the first luxury sedan on the market with a range-extended powertrain. Unlike hybrid vehicles that run on just the electric motor or the combustion engine or a combination of both, the Karma's 2.0-liter internal combustion engine is never used to provide the mechanical driving force to the vehicle's wheels.

Instead, the car's engine provides extended range of up to 230 miles (370 km) by turning a generator that is used to charge the vehicle's lithium-ion battery pack, which in turn powers two electric traction motors that drive the car. The Karma's 22 kWh battery can be recharged in less than six hours using a 240 V electrical outlet and can also be charged using a standard 110 V household outlet.

Fisker Automotive's 2012 Karma sedan PHEV

Under the EPA test criteria, the Karma's all-electric range was found to be 32 miles (51 km) and have a 52 MPG-e (miles per gallon equivalent) combined city/highway fuel economy. While this isn't as good as the Volt's 93 MPG-e or the 87 MPG-e rating of the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, neither of those vehicles can boast the sports styling or sub-six second 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) acceleration of the Karma.

"We are delighted to have EPA certification and fuel economy ratings that verify the Karma's remarkable green credentials." said Henrik Fisker, CEO and co-founder of Fisker Automotive. "As with all electric vehicles, range varies greatly on the conditions of the road and how you drive the car. We firmly believe that most owners will get up to 50 miles (80 km) of driving range on a single charge and will use our electric-only mode most of the time they drive the car, thereby running on zero emissions. Overall, we are very pleased with the results of EPA's tests. The Karma is a groundbreaking product with a unique powertrain."

Fisker Automotive is selling the Karma sedan for US$95,900 for the basic model and up to $109,850 for the top of the line model.

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
24 Comments

Help me understand. Why won't someone produce a small car that gets 70mpg or better? What happened to the VW 1L? This thing is useless to the masses. No one cares about us little people any more. Occupy Detroit!

Mark A
20th October, 2011 @ 09:50 pm PDT

@Mark A

There are dozens of European and Japanese small cars that get better than 70 mpg.

mommus
21st October, 2011 @ 03:55 am PDT

@ Mark A: I think you mean occupy Anaheim, California and Wolfsburg, Germany. If you occupy you'll be protesting against GM (Against products like the Spark and the Volt ;-) May as well go to Disney World while occupying Anaheim :-D

Francois Retief
21st October, 2011 @ 05:12 am PDT

Yet another uber expensive, (read out of the price range of the average person), EV. How long will it take and how many "cutting edge" EV's have to be sold before the prices become more reasonable? Some how I don't think a reasonably priced EV is going to happen in the next 20 to 30 years. It is a nice car though and I would consider it if I could afford it.

Alan Coffelt
21st October, 2011 @ 08:28 am PDT

Over $525 Million US taxpayer dollars was given to this company and the cars are being built in Finland. Not the US. After bailing out GM who still owes billions with their flagship car that is all electric that sold less than 900 cars, this imbecile, idiot of a president doubles down on another electric car that WILL fail. You would think that if GM cannot sell more than 900 electrics at 1/2 the price of this soon to be financial disaster that includes a tax break to own one, you would not pull the trigger on another failure. But, this is the Obama administration and it comes as no surprise since Obama cannot even pass an E-Verify Check.

ss442
21st October, 2011 @ 09:46 am PDT

Of course there is a electric extended range small car that gets 200 miles on a charge, the Aptera. Aptera has been waiting for over a year to hear back from the Government for there loan to begin production, so don't hold your breath!

Jerry Peavy
21st October, 2011 @ 09:54 am PDT

@mark A: I don't know if you remember, but back in the 80's a guy in Alabama developed a carburetor for an engine that got 100 miles to the gallon. Ford bought the thing and tested it, and comfirmed the mileage, and you never heard about it again. You don't actually think the automakers want to save the world energy do you? Or do you? What about the engine that ran on water??

Alfred knows

alfred knows
21st October, 2011 @ 10:00 am PDT

MarkA- Several of the posters are correct. It's the useless American Government that won't allow these cars in the states due to idiotic unbelted occupant laws. Cars in the US weigh more than the European cousins. Therefore they get better mileage. All you have to do it look at the UK sites for companies like VW. The Polo in it's 1.2L Bluemotion version, gets 91.1 miles to a gallon of diesel. The larger 1.6L diesel still gets almost 80mpg.

It's not Detroit, it's Washington.

VoiceofReason
21st October, 2011 @ 10:17 am PDT

What a useless piece of junk..

bgstrong
21st October, 2011 @ 10:48 am PDT

Frankly, this just ticks me off. The government loans Fiskar over HALF A BILLION DOLLARS to build a car in Finland, while leaving Aptera to wither and die on the vine for having the gall to design a vehicle with three wheels instead of four. The Aptera should be the first wave of green personal transportation, and should be pushed hard by the government as an ideal vehicular solution. This expensive, technologically advanced toy is just that... a toy. Oh, we'll learn from it, but the Aptera could be teaching us NOW.

Mike Barnett
21st October, 2011 @ 10:58 am PDT

Not to mention the $400 plus MILLION TAX PAYER DOLLARS given to Tesla Motors. The MORON in chief keeps throwing good money after bad at this alternate energy scam. When are we going to wake up and kick this CLOWN out of office. Between obummer and all his appointed minions running this GREAT COUNTRY into the ground. Its not even the Senators or Congressman screwing things up, Its all of obummers appointees.

OUDuck
21st October, 2011 @ 11:48 am PDT

Gee, less than 1/2 the range and economy of the Volt. So why not by a Volt? As far as the zippy acceleration, while nobody wants a "dog", I'm thinking full accel will diminish it's range by quitw a bit. When was the last time YOU accelerated like that? Seems unnecessary. BTW, if you want to "occupy" somewhere, try the workplace.

Burnerjack
21st October, 2011 @ 11:51 am PDT

People complain that "someone" doesn't produce an affordable vehicle.

The simple answer is investors. There are virtually zero investors with "half an eyeball of vision" for the future and most simply don't care and don't believe environmental issues. We have solid designs for both small affordable ultra efficient EV cars AND ultra efficient homes as well. Our Goal is to to produce "The Most Energy Efficient Homes In America" www.TMEEHIA.com (which can optionally include affordable EV's and ERV's as an integrated component of the home). We have the "credit" to finance the mortgage, but now need cash for the down payment and to finish our prototype ERV (Electric "Recreation" Vehicle). Write to me deyermann@q.com if you can help.

Donald Eyermann
21st October, 2011 @ 01:01 pm PDT

Well good ol' Algore is behind this, you know. But boy oh boy, is that EVER a sweet and sexy looking car!! WOW!! It reminds me of the early Firebirds. Too bad that they don't make it in a two door model. But when Fisker goes bankrupt next year like the solar company that OhBummer was all giggly about, I'd like to scoop up a few of those things and put a nice internal combustion engine in it, be a modern day Carrol Shelby! Maybe one of those MYT engines would be good, or something similar. Maybe even an ICE with my new valve design would be cool.

Randy

Expanded Viewpoint
21st October, 2011 @ 01:11 pm PDT

Well it is raining again, I can't believe Obama is making it rain what is wrong with that guy.

Seriously what is wrong with all you people that blame the president for every decision that is made in our government or society.

Cool car, maybe one day they will make it affordable, speaking of afford, we should get to see the new all electric focus soon.

katgod
21st October, 2011 @ 02:10 pm PDT

Seriously what is wrong with all you people that blame the president for every decision that is made in our government or society. -- katgod

You have not been watching the news enough. In this case Obama is the one pushing a green agenda as a signature component of his adminstration. This is hung around his neck by HIS choice.

My question to you is, why do you think it is a good idea that the government should be picking winners and losers?

JohnMc
21st October, 2011 @ 03:26 pm PDT

"sold less than 900 cars" - only an "imbecile, idiot" who can't even use a search engine would make such a dim remark, since the truth is:

"Through the end of September, year-to-date U.S. sales of the electric Nissan Leaf hit 7,199 units and sales of plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt tallied 3,895 units"

from:

http://green.autoblog.com/2011/10/21/buyers-trading-in-toyota-prius-for-chevy-volt-nissan-leaf/

and there are still 3 months of selling time to go.

TGinNC
21st October, 2011 @ 05:07 pm PDT

Well it sounds like it is time to let our politicians know we need these cars and to stop listening to the PACs. I do know about the European cars they work fine, handle better than our slugs and get great mileage. Maybe Washington will build us a bridge over the Atlantic so we can drive home from our European vacation.

Mark A
21st October, 2011 @ 10:17 pm PDT

@alfred knows

I heard that fairy tale in 1980 only the guy was in illinois and it was 1970

Bren
22nd October, 2011 @ 04:09 am PDT

One thing a person has to remember is where the electric energy comes from. Most of it comes from fossil fuel plants(coal). If you look at the amount of emissions per KWH, you will realize that this is all a hoax.

I know what I am talking about, I have a degree in electrical power generation and worked for the utility industry for 24 years. 10 years ago I was on the band wagon for wind energy. Then in my last job I would look at the watt/var charts for the wind farms on my employers system. I now know that wind energy is an utra expensive, undependable farce. Production of solar panels involve heavy metals and some nasty chemicals.

Those of you that drink the koolaid are not to blame. The main stream media has filled your brain with sensationalism and hype. There is no factual proof that carbon emissions are causing global warming. The worlds climate has been constantly changing. Carbon dioxide enhances plant growth. The plants then produce Oxygen.

Does this mean that we don't need to be concerned about our energy consumption? NO!!! What we need to do is use realistic technologies to reduce our consumption.

VoiceofReason has a good point. Diesel technology has come a long way. It can give us dependable, economic,low emission, high mileage transportation.

RUNEGOON
23rd October, 2011 @ 09:23 am PDT

Kool-Aide? How about the total lie that gas / diesel is produced and delivered without pollution? If you are stupid enough to listen to the argument that EVs are bad for the environment because electricity production pollutes, then you are drunk on the stuff. Let's talk a little about how much pollution is caused by fossil fuel production and distribution and then compare that.

How much pollution is caused a fossil fuel car that gets 50 miles per gallon + the pollution caused by gas / diesel production and distribution? Now compare that to an all electric drive car + the pollution caused by the production and distribution of electricity.

Don't be fooled by the lies. Look deeper.

John Christian
24th October, 2011 @ 07:14 am PDT

John, I'll look deeper if you look deeper. If you consider the infrastructure that is already in place for fossil fuels and how well it really has worked for more then 100 years and how antiquated our electrical grid is (at least in the U.S.) to even try and support electric vehicles! Then factor in all the materials for led battery's etc. for hybrids and electric cars the hybrids and electrics do come out on the short end of the stick. Petroleum powered vehicles have a proven track record when it comes to longevity that electrics have yet to substantiate and it's not that nobody wants to see these cars come to fruition it's just there being FORCED on us and subsidized at HUGE tax payer cost when the technology just isn't there yet? Let these high end producers prove there worth on there own merit and time will tell if this is what the public will want? I'm betting they wont and it'll be some technology that we have yet to even conceive of that will replace our gas powered cars some day in the future? If you look at the over all good that our internal combustion planes, cars, and boats have done for us for more then a century and the fact that the earth ISN'T disintegrating down around us because of it, I'd say we're doing pretty good for the here and now? Science is always working on something in the wings of our societal evolution and betterment and it's only natural that we would be a bit skeptical of a less proven technology that seems to be fobbed off on us when we're not hurting with what we have? We ARE NOT running out of oil or other carbon based fuels any time soon and we're always coming up with more efficient ways to use them, so I for one will live a LONG happy life knowing that things will improve (technology and transportation wise) and I will not stress my self to death thinking we're on our death bed if we don't get these 3 wheeled electric lawn chairs out soon to cure all our ills! :-)

mrhuckfin
24th October, 2011 @ 02:18 pm PDT

*shaking head*

Adam Cecchini
24th October, 2011 @ 02:41 pm PDT

The internal combustion engine has no doubt changed the way we live. Given that when I drive into the San Fernando Valley I can't help but wonder if the air would be cleaner with out all those cars.???? Hmmm, yes, I think the air would be cleaner. Now, if we could just get 70 MPG my gas bill per week would be 1/3 of what it currently is and I just have to believe the car would be more efficient and the engine slightly less polluting. Sounds like a reasonable start? Hmmm, yes I think it does. Then with all that money I saved from not buying so much fuel I could buy a Karma, everyone happy now?

Mark A
24th October, 2011 @ 08:59 pm PDT
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