The California based Fisker Automotive corporation has just been granted a sizable loan from the U.S. Government that will rapidly facilitate the automaker’s full scale production of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The U.S. Department of Energy has signed off on and agreed to the terms of a conditional totaling over half a billion dollars so that Henrik Fisker’s car company can create affordable, fuel efficient hybrid electric vehicles that are made right here in the U.S.A. The $528,000,000 loan will also allow Fisker Automotive CEO, Henrik Fisker to create at least 5,000 jobs for autoworkers right here in the U.S.
If only General Motors and Chrysler had lineups as desirable as Henrik Fisker’s then perhaps the U.S. Government would have been a bit more eager to step in and help out with their financial needs. It is no doubt that fuel efficient gas electric hybrids are going to be the next generation of personal transportation and it is confidence inspiring that there is an automaker who not only believes in the future, but also believes that we don’t have to sacrifice fun in order to save fuel.
The electric vehicle builder Fisker already has the lithium-ion powered Karma sedan and soon to be Karma Sunset convertible. But for 2010 the Tesla Motors competitor would like to offer something different, a more compact plug-in vehicle.
"We’re first doing the four-door and then we’re doing the convertible and then we’re planning some third derivative off the Karma platform. Then we’re planning a high-volume vehicle for a lower price. We’ve applied for a Department of Energy grant. If that loan comes through, we’ll have this vehicle on the road in 29 months" said Fisker himself.
Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors are very similar in their intent to mass-produce electric vehicles for a wide range of consumers, but how they are planning to get the public behind the wheel couldn’t be any more different.
Fisker plans on licensing their products to already established dealerships to sell their Karma Sedan and Karma Sunset convertible. This will streamline the process from the initial manufacturing to the final sale of the electric vehicles. Benefits of this approach include established logistics and knowledge of what it takes to sell to the local clientele.
On the other hand Tesla dealerships will be owned and operated by the environmentally friendly automotive manufacturer. This will give them more control over the sales and service aspect regarding the open air Roadster and Model S sedan. This approach is a risky one because at the moment Tesla only has outlets in California, but with an added cost are planning to open retail outlets in major population centers around the U.S. in places like Chicago, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C.; and across the pond in London.
The current Fisker Karma is priced at $87,900 - not bad for an electric car, but pretty bad when they announced models like Tesla Model S priced at just $49900, or the future Chevrolet Volt that will be also kept in the same $40k area. In conclusion Fisker will also need a cheaper model.
In an interview with Inside Line, Fisker spokesman Russell Datz said: "One of the future products we have is something that is significantly less than what will be on the market first. It may be a step above [the Chevrolet Volt and Tesla Motors Model S], but it’s hard to say right now."
He gave no name for the future model, but he confirmed that future plans include a lower-cost vehicle.
Fisker revealed today the first promotional video for the Karma - world’s first luxury hybrid sedan.
Karma uses a lithium-ion battery pack to power two 200+ hp electric motors for about 50 miles. Once the juice runs out of the batteries, a GM-sourced 2.0-liter gas engine making 260 hp generates the electricity needed to power the sedan. Fisker says the Karma makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in less than 6 seconds and can hit a top speed of more than 125 mph.
Fisker Automotive founder Henrik Fisker is no dummy. Before he was in the hybrid car game he was supplying the world with sleek coupes and convertibles like the Tramonto and Latigo. So when his company put out the production Karma sedan at the Detroit Auto Show, Fisker also lobbed off two doors and the roof to create the Karma S concept car.
The Karma S shares its aluminum spaceframe architecture and Q-Drive powertrain with the Fisker Karma sedan. So just like the sedan, the convertible can run up to 50 miles on using its lithium-ion battery pack to power the combined 403 hp of the two electric motors. Beyond the battery-packs range a 260 hp 2.0-liter GM Ecotec engine will generate the electricity.
The design provides for a compact folding hardtop that doesn’t interfere too much with the car’s design lines. No word yet on how much added wright comes with losing the Karma’s top, but that will become clear when/if this car makes its planned 2011 production deadline.
Fisker is not only going to unveil the Karma sedan at the North American International Auto Show, but it also will show off a convertible version in Detroit. There was an official teaser image of the Karma S Sunset Concept released by Fisker, and the team from KORS Design decided to fill in the gaps.
The Fisker Karma S will be powered by the Karma’s Q-Drive gas/electric powertrain. The Q-Drive should use a similar setup to the Chevrolet Volt. The car can be plugged to give a range of 50 miles on a full charge, and then a gas engine can recharge the batteries to extend the range. The Karma line will run off of a Lithium-Ion battery pack and should provide about 408hp from two electric motors.
Fisker is feeling a real kinship to The U.S. The Karma may be produced in Finland, but it premiered at last January’s North American International Auto Show and it plans to use a General Motors engine. Now Fisker is showing its American fever again by returning to the Detroit Auto Show next month.
"We are very excited to be bringing the Fisker Karma back to NAIAS," said Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker. "In the year since we debuted the Karma, the reception we’ve received has been tremendous." Tremendous indeed - according to Henrik Fisker, the Karma’s premier doesn’t need to drum up sales considering the car is sold out until mid-2010.
The Karma is out to give itself a performance image with GM’s 2.0 direct injection, turbo 4-cylinder Ecotec gasoline engine that will deliver 260 hp. The Karma should post 0-60 mph times in about 5.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 125mph. Powertrain organization will supply the gasoline engine that generates electricity when the driver has exceeded the 50 mile electric-only range.
The company will start deliveries of the Karma in the 4th quarter of 2009 in North America with planned delivery to Europe in 2010.
Fisker’s Karma is planned as a plug-in hybrid that can have its batteries recharged through a gas-powered engine - much like the Chevrolet Volt. Now Fisker is getting closer to the Volt by using a General Motors engine for recharges. But unlike the Volt, which has a 1.4-liter unit planned, Fisker will use a much more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged unit.
The Karma is out to give itself a performance image with GM’s 2.0 direct injection, turbo 4-cylinder Ecotec gasoline engine that will deliver 260 hp. Powertrain organization will supply the gasoline engine that generates electricity when the driver has exceeded the 50 mile electric-only range.
The company will start deliveries of the Karma in the 4th quarter of 2009 in North America with planned delivery to Europe in 2010. Fisker Automotive’s annual production is projected to reach 15,000 cars, with more than half of sales expected to be overseas.
It seems Fisker may be the new name in performance electric cars. As Tesla is scaling back and delaying its sedan, Fisker is announcing production plans of its electric Karma. The plug-in hybrid sedan will start production in the fourth quarter of 2009 and that the annual production is set at 15,000 vehicles. They will be built at the Valmet Automotive facility in Finland.
Fisker’s Karma is looking to make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in less than six seconds and will hit a top speed of 125 mph. Estimated price is around $80,000.
Tesla and Fisker are well-linked. Tesla sued car designer Henrik Fisker back in April because Tesla accused Fisker of purposely performing shoddy engineering work for Tesla’s own four-door sedan. The suit claims Fisker purposely did this to delay Tesla’s car, so that he could advance the plans for his own car, now know as the Karma. The case was dropped earlier this month.