Automotive

Fisker Automotive's Karma sedan PHEV finally on sale

Fisker Automotive's Karma seda...
Fisker Automotive's 2012 Karma sedan PHEV is now selling
Fisker Automotive's 2012 Karma sedan PHEV is now selling
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Fisker Automotive's 2012 Karma sedan PHEV is now selling
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Fisker Automotive's 2012 Karma sedan PHEV is now selling
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Fisker Automotive's 2012 Karma sedan PHEV is now selling
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Fisker Automotive's 2012 Karma sedan PHEV

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
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.

24 comments
Mark A
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!
mommus
@Mark A There are dozens of European and Japanese small cars that get better than 70 mpg.
Francois Retief
@ 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
Alan Coffelt
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.
ss442
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.
Jerry Peavy
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!
alfred knows
@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
VoiceofReason
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.
bgstrong
What a useless piece of junk..
Mike Barnett
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.