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Fisker's New Battery Patent Promises 500-Mile Range; One-Minute Charging

Fisker’s New Battery Patent Promises 500-Mile Range; One-Minute Charging

And, if you can believe it, it could be put to use in the next 5 to 7 years!

Fisker, the company that has worked diligently to bring about a dead-to-rights Tesla Model S fighter, has just announced a new battery patent that promises a new technology capable of ranges exceeding 500 miles and one-minute recharging. Let me say that again: One-minute recharging.

Details are still rather thin at this point, but we have learned that Fisker’s new power storage technology will allow the company to build solid-state batteries with lots of surface area in comparison to the current thin-film solid-state electrodes currently in development and use. This ultimately means better conductivity below the shell which, in turn, makes for a battery that works better in cold weather and charges faster. Keep in mind; this is why lithium-ion batteries are the go-to right now for EVs – the current capabilities of solid-state batteries are insufficient and low conductivity levels is a primary cause of this. So, if what Fisker is saying is true, the company could have just solved a very big problem and could, very well, usher in the next generation of battery technology.

Of course, Fisker isn’t the only company gunning for solid-state batteries, and Toyota has even promised its battery would be put to use in electric cars by 2022, just two years sooner than what Fisker claims it can do. Then again, Toyota hasn’t proved its technology, so it still has the same burden that has now be thrust onto Fisker’s shoulders as well. It’s obviously an arms race in which the winner will reign supreme in the EV world. In the end, Fisker if lofting out claims for density 2.5 times that of current lithium-ion batters, which means these babies could charge in minutes and offer up ranges of 500 miles. Just think, you can pull into a “gas station” and by the time you make up your hot dogs, buy a beverage, and take a leak, you’re EV is good for another 500 miles. Range Anxiety? Not in this future. The question now is: Who’s going to deliver on these lofty promises first?

Toyota still has a few years, and the man behind Fisker isn’t exactly working with a full deck of successful resumes either. He hasn’t exactly been the most successful cat on the street, and he promises an advanced battery in the Emotion just to retract his claims. But, for EVs to be truly successful, this is the kind of technology we need, and if we’re really this close – Toyota claims 2022 and Fisker 2024 – we’ll certainly be seeing it happen in most of our lifetimes. And, once that technology is there, there isn’t really a need for the ICE anymore either now is there?

Have something on your mind? Let us know in the comments section below. We’re curious as to what you think about these hefty claims.

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Henrik Fisker's New Car to Offer Level 5 Autonomy

Henrik Fisker’s New Car to Offer Level 5 Autonomy

New graphene batteries will also be offered in varying capacities

Fisker Inc’s return to the automotive scene has been met with plenty of curiosity, mostly centering around the first model the company is preparing. We don’t have much information about the car other than a few teasers released by Henrik Fisker himself, but now we may have the first significant feature of the model and it’s a doozy. According Car Buzz, Fisker Inc’s new pride and joy will not only boast electric power, it’s also getting fitted with Level 5 autonomy, making it a true direct competitor to the Tesla Model S.

The autonomous technology is reportedly going to be an optional feature, but Fisker is preparing the car to have the radar sensors come as standard with the help of suppliers Mobileye and Bosch. It’s still unclear how far along Fisker is in the development of the tech, but since it’s not going at it alone like Tesla is, the timetable will likely come down to how far along Mobileye and Bosch are in coming up with a usable system.

While autonomous driving will be one of the model’s most significant features, it’s far from the only one. According to Fisker, the four-door EV sedan will also feature “top performance and top level technology” as it relies on new graphene batteries that Fisker Nanotech is helping develop to get the numbers it needs to be competitive to the Model S. No mention was made on the power range of these new batteries, but given how Fisker identified Tesla’s flagship sedan as its main competition, it’s incumbent upon this new model to at least have an average of 500 horsepower.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Henrik Fisker Launches Fisker Inc.

Henrik Fisker Launches Fisker Inc.

Premium electric sedan with 400-mile range tabbed to be firm’s first model

Henrik Fisker is a man of many talents, but based on his track record, owning a car company might not be one of them. Still, the man who sent Fisker Automotive to bankruptcy is giving this whole business of brand ownership another shot with the establishment of Fisker, Inc., a new startup that’s already making some ambitious promises. Oh, Mr. Fisker, your bravado has been missed.

The famed automotive designer responsible for past beauties like the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9, and V8 Vantage isn’t being conservative about his intentions for Fisker, Inc. Oh, no. He’s diving straight into the deep end of the pool with plans to develop a luxury EV sedan that will boast a 400-mile battery range, enough to make the Tesla Model S bury its head in the sand. Whether he ends up being successful in this endeavor is another matter entirely, but he’s certainly not coming up short on promises since he already has another model in consideration: a compact EV sedan that will go head-to-head with the Tesla Model 3.

His new Fisker, Inc. company even has a subsidiary already in Fisker Nanotech, a battery company that will be charged to supply the batteries that Fisker claims uses graphene to “extend its range and life and reducing charging time.”

Details on how he plans to accomplish, let alone fund and execute this new plan are still scarce, but in an interview with Bloomberg, Fisker said that the company has been working in “stealth mode” over the past two years and has since developed a technology that “nobody else has.”

It looks good on paper, but now Fisker is on the clock to deliver the goods in ways his old company couldn’t.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Henrik Fisker Secretly Working on Electric Car and Battery Technology

Henrik Fisker Secretly Working on Electric Car and Battery Technology

Call it fate, but don’t call it Karma

Henrik Fisker, the Danish-born designer and one-time head honcho at Fisker Automotive, says he’s planning on getting back into the battery-powered vehicle game with a possible all-electric car and the revival of the Fisker nameplate.

The news comes from a recent report by The Detroit News, which interviewed Fisker in a profile on the production of his latest effort, the VLF Force 1. In addition to details on the Force 1, Fisker divulged upcoming plans and concurrent projects concerning all-electric vehicles, including the development of new battery tech.

“I’m definitely working in stealth mode on electric cars of the future. If I do an electric car, it’s going to have to be phenomenal, and has to be something that stands out with technology that nobody else has,” Fisker told The Detroit News.

Fisker’s previous foray into the battery-assisted space was the Karma, a six-figure hybrid luxury sedan produced between 2011 and 2012 by Fisker Automotive. Fisker Automotive went bankrupt in 2013, after which the Chinese auto-parts company Wanxiang Group bought the remaining assets with plans to restart production of the Karma. The car has since been renamed the Karma Revero.

Following the Karma, Fisker’s four-wheeled creations so far have relied exclusively on gasoline for motivation, and specifics on Fisker’s future electrified plans remain under wraps.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Henrik Fisker Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against Aston Martin

Henrik Fisker Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against Aston Martin

Aston Martin and Henrik Fisker are back in each others cross hairs. The former Aston Martin designer uncorked the latest haymaker in the form of a $100 million lawsuit, accusing his former employer of committing civil extortion. The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. Federal District Court, claims that Aston Martin sent Fisker a “threatening letter” pertaining to the latter’s new Force 1 supercar that he planned to display at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Apparently, Aston Martin believes that the design of the Force One supercar has too many similarities to the Aston Martin DB10 even though the British luxury marque acknowledged that it wasn’t privy to the final design of the Force One. For his part, Fisker immediately took action, arguing that Aston Martin’s allegations were completely baseless because the company’s claims was based solely on a teaser image of the supercar.

Fisker’s lawyer, Jonathan A. Michaels of MLG Automotive Law, added that Aston Martin simply felt “threatened” to see its former designer return to the market to compete against the company. Michaels threw extra shade in Aston Martin’s direction, saying that the company hasn’t done anything remotely close to ground-breaking ever since the designer left the company. Fisker himself lobbed his own personal grenade in Aston Martin’s direction, claiming that the company is simply “trying to intimidate me to prop up their own flailing company and to mask their financial and product deficiencies. I refuse to be intimidated and that is the reason for today’s filing." Fighting words, indeed.

Both Henrik Fisker and MLG Automotive Law are seeking punitive damages, court costs and compensatory damages from Aston Martin at a value of not less than $100 million.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Fisker Changes Its Name To Karma Automotive

Fisker Changes Its Name To Karma Automotive

Fisker was a small automotive manufacturer that debuted its first and only model at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. That model, known as the Fisker Karma, was one of the first plug-in hybrid vehicles that actually made it into production. The company eventually fell into financial struggles, and after filing for bankruptcy, was purchased by the Wanxian Group – a massive auto-parts supplier out of China. Under new ownership, Frisker is now slated for revival, but its name has officially been changed to Karma Automotive – clearly in tribute to its original production model.

Karma’s Chief Marketing Office, James Taylor, says that the new name is relevant to the old and new brand, plus it exhibits the companies focus and purpose. “Karma is based on the principle of cause and effect, where your actions create your future. This awareness of what we are doing and why we are doing it—which we characterize as acting with intention—is what we stand for, it’s authentic.” According to the recent press release, Karma’s new management team has attracted world-class expertise and talent.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Fisker Announces New Customer Support Program

Fisker Announces New Customer Support Program

Fisker is still probably a long way off from building new cars anytime soon (if ever), but to avoid hanging Karma owners out to dry with no warranties, the company announced a new customer service program that will provide OEM parts and continued maintenance services. Current owners are covered for repairs costing up to $2,000, while original owners get another $2,000 for parts and $1,000 for labor. Service centers have been established at existing Fisker dealers in most major cities across the country.

Between the two most well known American-based electric car start-up companies, Fisker definitely came out on the losing end. The company founded by former Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker declared bankruptcy in 2013 as a result of supply chain problems and recalls. China’s Wanxiang Group purchased the Fisker brand and its assets in 2014, and aside from a possible name change to Elux, that’s pretty much the last we’ve heard of the company.

Continue reading to learn more about Fisker’s latest customer support program.

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Fisker Hoping to Begin Karma Production Soon

Oh boy, Fisker has been run through the ringer in the past year, or so, but Henrik Fisker remains optimistic that everything’s going to be all right. During the Chicago Auto Show, Mr. Fisker was heard saying that he anticipates the Karma’s production to restart “fairly soon” after its recent halt.

To recap the recent struggles: Fisker first had tons of cars destroyed by Hurricane Sandy; their insurance company denied the claim for said damaged vehicles; A123 – their battery supplier – went belly up; and the aforementioned temporary cessation of the Karma’s production. We’re not even going to get into the fire issues that marred the company’s image for a period of time.

With the approval of the sale of A123 to Wanxiang Group – a Chinese firm – one step in the restart process for the Karma is nearly complete. Fisker is still relying on an outside consultant to straighten out its business practices to save it a little cash and for an investor or strategic partner to bring in a little extra operating capital.

We are thoroughly convinced that the Karma is a quality luxury sedan, despite its earlier issues, so we are hoping that its production will restart without a hitch and that it will ultimately succeed. We’ll continue following the Karma saga and update you as more details emerge.

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Fisker Suspends Karma Production After Battery Supplier Files for Bankruptcy

The biggest appeal Fisker has over its competitors in the market is the fact that it runs on electricity. But what good is it if your cars don’t have batteries in them?

Fisker found that out first-hand after the company in charge of manufacturing its batteries recently filed for bankruptcy, thus leading to the company suspending production the Karma, its $100,000 luxury plug-in hybrid.

There should come a point in time when Fisker’s sole battery supplier, A123 Systems, gets its books straightened out, but the concern for Fisker is the time being wasted waiting for manna to drop from the heavens in the form of either getting some financial assistance from the feds or a buyer stepping into the picture and purchasing the battery manufacturer outright.

Either scenario could take long time, especially considering that A123 has already gotten some federal support in the past, thus giving the latter the provision to give the green light on any potential buyer in the future.

Whatever the case may be, this new development came at the worst possible time for Fisker, particularly because the Karma’s debut in China could be delayed. We all know how big the Chinese market is and how many eager Chinese people are to plunk down money to get behind the wheel of an electric sports car.

With A123 Systems currently in bankruptcy, Fisker apparently has no other choice than to temporarily suspend production of the Karma.

Here’s to hoping that everything gets straightened out and everyone involved can return to regular business.

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TopSpeed Exclusive: Fisker Clears the Air About the Karma Issues, Atlantic Delay, Combusting Fan, Future Plans and Financial Status

TopSpeed Exclusive: Fisker Clears the Air About the Karma Issues, Atlantic Delay, Combusting Fan, Future Plans and Financial Status

Fisker began development of a revolutionary car, the Karma, roughly four years ago. At that time, folks were optimistic, excited, and had almost only good things to say about this upstart company. It’s crazy how fast things can change.

As time moved on, Fisker started running into some real issues that would likely destroy many startup companies. The downward trend started with the DOE freezing its loan to Fisker after it had only used about half of the available funds. The next issue was a pair or recalls – one in December 2011 and another in May 2012 – because of incorrectly positioned hose clamps that could cause a coolant leak. And you likely know, electricity and water do not mix.. Then came the fires…

The first fire came about in April 2012, when a man’s house and other two cars were damaged after his Karma caught fire in the garage. The cause of that fire was not known, but it is likely related to the following fire that came just months later. This second fire occurred in August and was easily contained to just the front end of the $100K luxury car. The one good thing to come out of this fire is that Fisker was quick to the aid of the owner and quick to mobilize a group of outside investigators to figure out that it was a failed low-temperature fan that caused the flame.

This final fire brought about the final recall of the Karma, to date. In this recall, Fisker asked 1,377 Karma customers to bring cars in to have the cooling fan replaced. Between all of these issues were complaints from customers about a Command Center that didn’t operate effectively and a “Stealth” mode that wasn’t too stealthy. Adding to those complaints was a very poor review of the Karma by Consumer Reports.

With these issues came a shellacking from the press – automotive and general – and all Fisker could do was try and get its own version of the story out. Well, we just gave Fisker an avenue to air its side of the story in our exclusive interview with Fisker’s Senior Director of Global Corporate Communications & PR, Roger Fisker.

To read what Fisker has to say about these issues and more about its future, click past the jump.

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Report: 16 Fisker Karmas Burn Following Hurricane Sandy

Report: 16 Fisker Karmas Burn Following Hurricane Sandy

Fisker had some issues with Karmas and spontaneous combustion, as of late, and even mentioning the word “Fire” in Fisker’s home office is likely an offense likely worthy of firing. Wait, but you can’t say “Firing” either, so how about “Termination.” Reports out of New Jersey of Karmas catching fire following Hurricane Sandy couldn’t have possibly come at a worse time.

According to the reports, a group of Fisker Karmas were sitting at port in New Jersey when seawater submerged them. A short time after their submersion, 16 of the stored Karmas burst into flames. From the images we are seeing, they are total losses and we will likely never know the precise cause, but Fisker is diligently investigating the situation.

One thing is for sure here, this will likely not have anything to do with a flaw in the Karma’s design. It’s likely no more Fisker’s fault than a blow dryer’s fault for you getting electrocuted while drying your hair in the bathtub. It’s simple: deep water + electronics = “zap” and “boom.” This is multiplied when you add in the corrosive salt in the ocean and the fact that these cars were likely submerged for a long time.

We are more concerned with whether these cars were already sold to customers or if they were just dealership stock. Plus, with the financial eggshells that all startups walk on, we are concerned with how losing this large of a percentage of Karmas produced will affect Fisker’s 2012 and 2013 outlook.

We’ve reached out to Fisker to try to get a better grasp on the situation. We’ll pass any information we get along to you.

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Despite Being Dubbed a "Loser" by Mitt Romney, Tesla Expects to Show Positive Cash Flow Next Month

So, for anyone that watched the Debate last night – I did and I am suffering today thanks to the late evening – you saw presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, hit our sector a few times. One time, he took a direct swipe at two alternative-energy car companies in one statement. If you missed the statement, here it is:

"Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives," Romney said during the first of three Presidential debates. "You put $90 billion — like 50 years’ worth of breaks — into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said, you don’t just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers."

Now, we’re not here to debate politics, but to call Tesla and Fisker “losers” is not quite fair. As a matter of fact, Tesla announced on Wednesday – the same day that Romney labeled it a “Loser” – that despite its struggles meeting delivery goals, which are due to supplier issues, it will become “cash-flow positive” by next month and will hit the 500-unit mark in just a few weeks.

Hitting that black in the ledger is a huge step for an upstart company and to see Tesla hitting it this soon is impressive. Musk also announced that despite criticisms of the DOE loan to Tesla, the company has always paid the loan installments on time and has never even given a thought to postponing the payments.

We are not too sure exactly what will come of Tesla in the long run, but it is already prepping the release of its second vehicle, the Model X SUV, and there is a light at the end of the very long upstart tunnel for Musk and Tesla. We’ll keep an eye on the ledger sheet and let you know if Tesla meets this anticipated milestone on time or not.

Click past the jump to read Mr. Musk’s blogged press release.

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The Fisker Fire Spreads... To its CEO

When two Fisker cars catch on fire within months of each other, what’s the first action you may expect from the car company? We would expect a thorough evaluation of the situation, a final determination, then maybe some internal rearranging, given the second fire is found to be caused by an issue with the company’s manufacturing process.

They must do things a little differently at Fisker, as it has chosen to replace its CEO – the second time that has happened this year, by the way – and replace him with Chevy Volt line director, Tony Posawatz. Interesting last name for a guy heading up a hybrid car company... Reuters is also reporting that the fired CEO will be around to offer “fatherly advice” to the new CEO, but he will not hold a formal role with the company.

We don’t know if Fisker’s latest CEO to enter the revolving door has anything to do with the Fisker-b-q that’s been going on recently, but the timing sure does seem a little strange to us. We are actually due to talk with Fisker at some point today, so we will make certain to ask their rep all about this situation while we’re on the phone with him.

We’re pretty sure we’ll get a canned response about the dismissal, but it’s well worth a try nonetheless. We’ll let you know what we hear from the rep, if he tells us anything at all.

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One Fisker Bar-b-q is a Mistake, Two may be an Epidemic

One Fisker Bar-b-q is a Mistake, Two may be an Epidemic

Back in May, a Fisker Karma was parked in an owner’s garage when it suddenly burst into flames. That specific case was basically written off by investigators as a battery failure, being described as looking like a golf cart fire. This latest Fisker BBQ is a little different than the previous one, as the flames are in an area away from the batteries.

Fisker has released two statements in regards to this issue and essentially says: “we know of the fire,” “fires happen in cars,” and “we are looking into it, so calm down” in so many words. The second one summarizes as "we doubt it was the battery, as the fire was in the front," "the fire source was from outside of the engine compartment," and "we’re looking into it (again)." Fisker also states that it will release another statement once the investigation is complete and the final cause of the fire is determined.

Fisker is really doing everything it can to keep people from thinking that this fire has anything to do with its battery packs. One of the more likely causes to the lack of EV sales these days is the public fear of electrical shorts in these high-voltage machines and the related fires.

We’ll keep you updated on this one and let you know all of the latest news. Check out the above video to see the flaming Fisker being put out.

Click past the jump to read Fisker’s two press releases.

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A123 May Have a Solved the No. 1 Problem with Lithium-Ion Car Batteries

A123 May Have a Solved the No. 1 Problem with Lithium-Ion Car Batteries

One of the largest – if not the largest – problems with electric cars becoming a complete reality is the limitation of the lithium-ion battery. One issue is the fact that they are extremely susceptible to extreme heat and cold. Both ends of the temperature spectrum result in serious energy loss, which, in turn, creates excessive battery usage to obtain the same results. This is exactly why the estimated mileage of EVs can vary greatly, depending on the environment.

To help regulate the battery temperature, EV manufacturers today are using liquid coolant to maintain an optimal temperature, just like the coolant works in an internal combustion engine. This liquid come with added expense, as it is expensive to manufacture and adds in a complex system to regulate the coolant temperature.

A123, a leading battery manufacturer for EVs, recently developed and is currently testing a battery it dubbed the Nanophosphate EXT, which can handle extreme hot and cold without requiring any coolant to maintain its temperature, per A123. In testing, this new lithium-ion battery held roughly 90 percent of its energy capacity in 113-degree heat, which shows it can take heat.

According to reports, cold testing is underway at a temperature of -22 degrees Fahrenheit and A123 claims that the batteries deliver 20 percent more power than standard coolant-regulated batteries at the same temperature.

In addition to it not needing temperature regulation, A123 also claims that Nanophosphate EXT batteries can last two to three times longer than an equivalent lithium-ion battery.

Combining more energy at extreme temperatures, deletion of the complex cooling system, and the lighter nature of these batteries, thanks to the lack of coolant, this new battery technology appears to be nothing short of a winner. With developments like this new battery and the high-tech and high-performance nature of EVs like the Tesla Model S and Fisker Karma, we just may see EVs become more of a reality to replace Dinosaur flesh-burning vehicles in the next 10 years.

We’ll keep you updated if anything new comes from A123’s research.

Click past the jump to read A123’s official presser about this new technology.

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Fisker posts impressive sales and revenue figures

This may surprise many of you, but the simple fact is that many automotive manufacturers who take their chance in the luxury car market, or supercar market, actually lose money from the venture.

This is exactly the case with the Lexus LFA, and despite its $375,000 price tag, the company has made no money with its V10-powered supercar and it’s the same story for many other manufacturers. This also helps explain why the next LFA may cost twice as much as the original, as the Japanese firm cannot afford to lose any more money on the vehicle.

However, by some miracle, Fisker has managed to develop and produce its advanced Karma sedan without losing a penny and this is backed up by the fact that the small Californian firm has already delivered 1,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2012 and raked in $100 million in revenue.

Now these results would be all good and well if Fisker was satisfied having only one model for the coming years, but they’re not. In fact, the brand hopes to put the Atlantic concept into production as soon as possible and needs to acquire as much funding from the U.S. government as possible, as well as maintain the already impressive sales figures of the Karma.

Perhaps Justin Bieber’s chrome-wrapped Fisker Karma actually helped out the company, rather than being a complete abomination of what luxury cars are all about.

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More Fisker Cutbacks in Delaware Plant; Is the future of the Atlantic in trouble?

Fisker has been one of the more exciting rollercoaster rides in the automotive industry, as of late. In 2010, it was developing an extended range hybrid, then known as the Nina, and the Department of Energy was interested enough to provide the struggling company with a $529 million loan. This loan was three fold; part of it was for additional research for the Karma, part was for the Nina’s development, and the final portion was to renovate the old GM plant in Delaware.

Apparently Fisker didn’t meet the DOE’s expectations and they froze the loan in 2011, due to “unmet milestones.” Fisker then insisted that production of the Atlantic (the production name of the Nina) will commence at the Delaware plant, despite laying off 26 employees in early-February.

Well, the layoffs are still coming, as Fisker just let go of an additional 12 employees, including engineers and maintenance technicians, from its Delaware plant, which one laid off engineer called “absolutely empty.”

This is really making it look as if the Atlantic will not be produced in the Delaware plant. For that matter, it is starting to look like the Fisker brand as a whole may be in some significant trouble. The true question here is will the DOE see that Fisker’s recent progress is good enough to thaw out those loan funds and allow the company to continue its renovation of the Delaware plant and research on the Atlantic project? Or will the DOE watch Fisker squirm as it gasps for air wherever it can?

Chances are releasing the loan funds will never happen and it is looking like Fisker may fizzle out and end up amongst the heap of failed car companies, alongside Packard, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. Only time will tell, but seeing the Atlantic – an affordable hybrid sports sedan – hit the market would be a great thing for the environment and the entire hybrid realm.

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Fisker Karma has been delayed yet again for July 2011

Fisker Karma has been delayed yet again for July 2011

Is the Fisker Karma the automotive equivalent of Gran Turismo 5?

Sure looks like it after the plug-in luxury sports car’s production date has been set back once again, this time until July. We’ve heard this sordid tale of run-around after run-around before and it can get pretty exhausting, especially when you consider that the Karma’s release date was supposed to happen over a year ago.

According to GreenCarReports, Roger Ormisher, director of global communications for Fisker Automotive, was quoted saying that the "first dealer [demonstration vehicles] and customer cars will arrive on these shores in July." So that pretty much rules out the earlier dates of May and June, as was previously announced by the company.

It’s disappointing, make no mistake about it. But considering that the company is still in its infancy, a little latitude should be exercised, if only to give these guys time to get their acts together. Then again, it probably isn’t a good business idea to keep delaying the product’s release date when you already raised it’s price before the car even hit the market.

This isn’t GT5, which you can just plop down 60 bucks to take home with you. $95,000 is a lot of money for people to part with and continuing to delay the release of the car could turn a lot of people off.

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Fisker Automotive is awarded $528 Million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to build plug-in hybrid vehicles

Fisker Automotive is awarded $528 Million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to build plug-in hybrid vehicles

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.

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Fisker sued by Tesla

Fisker sued by Tesla

Fisker is in trouble! Tesla sued them! Why? Simple: for stealing design ideas. Last year Tesla hired Henrik Fisker, a Danish-born designer who is known for his work on high-end exotic sports cars, to do the body design for a four-seat sedan, code-named White Star.

The Tesla lawsuit contends that Mr. Fisker and his chief operating officer, Bernhard Koehler, doing business under the name Fisker Coachbuild, fraudulently agreed to take on Tesla’s $875,000 design contract to gain access to confidential design information and trade secrets, then announced a competing vehicle. Last fall Mr. Fisker founded Fisker Automotive, which is backed by the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Both the planned Tesla sedan and Mr. Fisker’s recently announced Karma are meant to be hybrid cars using a small gas engine to power a generator that charges a battery, which in turn powers an electric motor. The design, known as a serial hybrid, is thought to greatly extend the range and efficiency of hybrid vehicles.

The Tesla lawsuit states that before doing the design work for Tesla, Mr. Fisker had no experience with hybrid technology. It says that he did substandard work for Tesla, essentially sabotaging it, and then used the revenue from the design contract to develop his company’s car.

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First Fisker Karma to be delivered in 2009

First Fisker Karma to be delivered in 2009

In a featured report, Henrik Fisker, the head of Fisker Automotive revealed some informations about the future-coming Karma hybrid sedan but also some other interesting things.

The Fisker plug-in electric hybrid Karma sports car costs $80,000 for the U.S. and at least $106,000 for Europe due to the higher taxes and import charges. ’’We have people ordering this car from us even though we’re unknown” said Fisker.

After its debut at the Detroit Motor Show and the second presentation at the Geneva Auto Show, Fisker said that his company is receiving between 50 and 100 orders a week for its plug-in electric hybrid Karma sports car which will begin rolling off the production line in the 4th quarter of 2009.

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