Fisker Karma Plug-In Hybrid Sedan in 2009 ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Fisker Karma Plug-In Hybrid Sedan in 2009

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fisker Karma Plug-In Hybrid Sedan in 2009

Fisker Karma Plug In Hybrid CarEverybody wants to be first to the table with their plug-in hybrid. True competitors GM and Toyota have both announced their intentions to have a plug-in hybrid car on the road by 2010. GM is looking to succeed with a plug-in Vue or the Chevy Volt. Toyota quickly followed up with their own announcement, reminding people who dominates whom in the whole hybrid thing, and oh, by the way, we'll have a plug-in hybrid in 2010.

Toyota has already been testing a plug-in version of the Prius on the streets in Japan. And you can't go five feet without running into another OMG message about the Volt. But now, the independent candidate is throwing their hat into the ring. Fisker Automotive CEO, Henrik Fisker, says they want to be first.

At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Fisker announced a $80,000 plug-in hybrid car, called the Karma, which will be out by the end of 2009. That's a pretty stiff price tag, and not one the bigger automotive companies are likely to follow.

Fisker feels they can get their plug-in on the road first because their partner works with the US Army on developing plug-in hybrids for the military. The PHEV will supposedly get 50 miles on electric only power, with up to 620 miles on a tank of gas. It will also go 0-60 in six seconds, with a top speed of 125 mph.

Oh, and to top it off (pardon the pun), there will be two optional solar packages that put solar panels onto the roof. The panels will charge the battery (small charge, don't expect much) and keep the car cool when parked. Or you could purchase a solar panel for you house, allowing you to plug-in not to the grid, but to the sun.

When car companies compete, we win.

Press Release Follows:

DETROIT, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Fisker Automotive, Inc., a green American premium sports car company, today unveiled its first production car, the Fisker Karma, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The first of its kind four-door plug-in hybrid premium sports sedan will have a starting price of $80,000. Initial deliveries of the Karma will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009 with annual production projected to reach 15,000 cars. The first 99 cars off the assembly line will be individually numbered and signed by Henrik Fisker and will be produced in the color and trim of the show car seen at NAIAS.


In Buddhism/Hinduism, Karma is defined as the force generated by a person's good or evil actions which determines the nature of the person's next existence. The Fisker Karma allows consumers to practice good Karma -- driving a car that is environmentally friendly -- without sacrificing the extreme comfort and style of the luxury automobile category.

"In creating Fisker Automotive, Inc. we sought to develop a range of beautiful, environmentally friendly cars that make environmental sense without compromise," said Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. "Our hope is that the Fisker Karma will be the start of a new trend in the automotive business -- less concession with more efficiency."

The car features cutting-edge plug-in hybrid technology, penned as Q DRIVE, developed by Quantum Technologies exclusively for Fisker Automotive. The Karma's Q DRIVE configuration consists of a small gasoline engine that turns the generator, which charges the lithium ion battery pack, powering the electric motor and turning the rear wheels. This proprietary design allows consumers to drive the car emission free for up to 50 miles a day provided the car is charged every evening. It's conceivable that if consumers follow this daily routine, they will only need to fuel the car but once a year. This Q DRIVE technology will provide a base for all future derivatives from Fisker Automotive.

"Our goal here is to deliver the advancement that Quantum Technologies has made in the area of plug-in hybrid technology. By combining our efforts with the renowned design talent of Henrik Fisker, we can produce cars that make a difference to the environment -- without sacrificing the luxury that accompanies the finest automobiles," stated Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO Quantum Technologies.

Fisker Karma Design

The sleek design of the Fisker Karma, which accentuates the long hood, is a direct result of the breakthrough all-new from the ground up chassis design with powertrain development. This unique design places the battery pack at the center of the vehicle between the two axles, providing optimal vehicle driving dynamics, maximum safety, and proportionate design. Both the interior and exterior of the car will be put to market as seen at the NAIAS.

Fisker Karma Interior

The Karma's luxurious interior boasts four individual first class seats, a modern and sophisticated interior design and a spacious luggage capacity that can fit two golf bags and luggage in the trunk. Other interior optional features to include:

-- Electronic Aides: Navigation system, DVD system incorporated into seat
backs and state-of-the art push button controls
-- Seating Comfort: Four individual "first class" seats
-- Driving Modes: The driver will be able to select between two modes of
driving. The first mode is "Stealth Drive," which is the quiet economy
mode for optimal relaxed and efficient driving. By flipping the second
paddle behind the steering wheel, the car will switch to "Sport Drive,"
which will access the full power of the vehicle

Fisker Karma Exterior

The all new from the ground up exterior design features a continual flow of sculpture and dramatic proportion. Similar in height to the Porsche 911, the length of the Mercedes Benz CLS, and the width of a BMW 7-series, the Fisker Karma's structure and body panels will make extensive use of aluminum to keep the overall vehicle weight as low as possible. Additionally, a new drive train configuration will provide optimal weight distribution. The vehicle's low and wide stance offers the driver a unique view of the fenders from the inside of the car.

The Fisker Karma will offer partly self-contained climate control, as consumers will have the option to purchase a full length solar roof that will help charge the car and provide cooling for the interior cabin while the car is parked. Additionally, Fisker Automotive will offer consumers an option to purchase a set of solar panels for their roofs or garages where they can generate electricity during the day to charge the car overnight...again cost and emission free.

Other exterior details to take note of include:

-- Exterior Panels: Extensive use of lightweight materials used for
optimal weight and driving dynamics
-- Solar Panel Roof: The Karma will offer self-contained climate control,
as consumers will have the option to purchase a full length solar roof
that will help charge the car and provide cooling for the interior
cabin while the car is parked
-- Plug-In Configuration: Small bonnet "doors" for easy charging and
engine fluids refill
-- 22-inch lightweight alloy wheels
-- LED tail-lamps
-- Driver visibility: Front fenders visible with a view of the long hood

Fisker Karma Performance & Dynamics:

-- 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds
-- Top speed beyond 125 mph
-- Torque: The karma will have maximum torque available from 0 mph with a
dramatic acceleration to its top speed
-- Stance of car: The low center of gravity provides optimal sport
vehicle driving dynamics
-- Innovation: The Karma will feature a newly developed lightweight body
and structure
-- Braking: The Karma will feature regenerative brakes to recapture
braking energy

About Fisker Automotive, Inc.

Keeping with the company's mantra of "Simply World Class", Fisker Automotive and its retailers will offer a customer experience second to none. All retailers will be housed in eco-friendly facilities and will offer consumers a unique personal approach, including the ability to ask questions via video conference with an expert at Fisker Automotive headquarters and flexible scheduling based on consumer availability.

Fisker Automotive is a privately owned car company with Henrik Fisker serving as the CEO. Fisker Coachbuild, LLC will be the exclusive design house for Fisker Automotive through the entire range of product development. Additional executive team members include Vic Doolan, Board Member FA & Director of Retail Development; Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO Quantum Technologies & Board Member FA; Bernhard Koehler, COO; Thomas Fritz, Director of Engineering; and production design by Alex Klatt, formerly of BMW and Mark Clarke formerly of Porsche. This experienced team will help Fisker Automotive lead the future and redefine automotive design by creating the ultimate eco-chic car -- cars that marry unparalleled style with environmental consciousness.

Fisker Automotive will offer its range of cars worldwide with first deliveries starting in North America in the 4th quarter of 2009.

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Anonymous said...

And how much will this be? $50K? $60K? $70K? What's the point?

Unknown said...

It's currently being priced at $80,000. That's a pretty steep price tag for plugging in your car. Switching a Prius from a hybrid into a plug-in can cost upwards of $10,000, so I'm assuming the price will come down.

The idea behind plug-ins is switching your energy from the oil supply onto the electric grid. There are arguments for and against that, many environmentalists think it's worth it.

Anonymous said...

Economics and marketing will kill these cars. There's too much greed for any goodness to occur.

These idiots would rather keep this technology exclusive rather than for the general market.

Unknown said...

I'd be surprised if that's true. I'm sure they'd be willing to sell it to people if people are willing to buy it. Look at Ford. They've been selling hybrids for three years now and are hoping that they will begin making a profit on them this year.

Anonymous said...

There are arguments for and against, many environmentalists think it's worth it.

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