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Old October 20th   #1
dragginbody87
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Fisker Karma: Solyndra on Wheels?

http://www.fantasticalandrewfox.com/...dra-on-wheels/

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Our tax dollars at work… a half-billion dollar loan (actually $529 million) from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a hybrid toy for the wealthy and/or celebri-licious (like Leonardo DiCaprio, one of the first customers) that, in real world driving, won’t get much better mileage than your average crossover utility vehicle. Not only that, but the cars are manufactured in Finland — that’s right, Finland – and shipped here for sale, where their purchasers will then receive a $7,500 tax credit for buying one (the “cheap” base model starts at $96,895, with the full-zoot Eco Chic model going for a bargain $108,900).
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And the kicker, for those of you who would still claim that the risk of half a billion tax dollars is justified by environmental gains… contrary to the company’s initial hype, the Karma will only run for thirty-two miles on its electric motors before its turbocharged gasoline engine needs to kick in (as opposed to the initial estimate of fifty miles). Once that occurs, the Karma gets about the same mileage as a Ford Explorer. Not the new Explorer, even. The older, gas-hog, body-on-frame model. We’re talking twenty miles per gallon, folks. So much for your “green investment.”
I'm paying rich people $7,500 to help them buy a car made in Finland. Awesome. More awesomeness at the link.
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Old October 20th   #2
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I think article glazes over some facts, and is also downright incorrect on some of the stats. I've seen this car in person in prototype form and HCS will be doing a review of the top of the line Eco Chic model once the local owner takes delivery and we schedule it.

That being said, there's a couple of things at work here. First, if the government is doing stupid loans, then one to Fisker is the least of the worries. Second, it is a global economy, so even the American cars aren't American, and even the Japanese ones aren't Japanese. The Japan-only 1990s Accord SiR with the factory H22 engine was made [i]here/[I] in Ohio and shipped to Japan. German Continental race tires used in the American Grand Am series are made here.

The idea of this car sparked a revolution that got Tesla and other manufacturers racing. The Fisher has fallen a bit flat from its initial specs, but the car does meet most of its goals. The 20mpg figure can't be right because the engine doesn't directly couple with the drivetrain , like the Prius. And with over 900ft/lbs of torque, this is definitely no Prius. As with all things, how you drive makes a huge difference. There are people out there doing crazy things to their Priuses to get 100+mpg, and then there are the old Honda FEDs out there that got stock Prius mileage without batteries.

No doubt there's some politics involved in Fisher. And that's unfortunate. But it seems the world is full of this because we as human beings seem to carry this with us as we become 'civilized'. I just hope the end product is as nice as the prototype and that the earnings are used to further a new American-based company.
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Old October 20th   #3
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Update: Fisker Karma Electric Car Gets Worse Mileage Than an SUV

http://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenme...e-than-an-suv/

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In short, the EPA methodology leaves out, among other things, the conversion efficiency in generating the electricity from fossil fuels in the first place.

In the Clinton administration, the Department of Energy (DOE) created a far superior well to wheels MPGe metric the honestly compares the typical fossil fuel use of an electric vs. gasoline car.

As I calculated in my earlier Forbes article, one needs to multiply the EPA MPGe by .365 to get a number that truly compares fossil fuel use of an electric car with a traditional gasoline engine car on an apples to apples basis. In the case of the Fisker Karma, we get a true MPGe of 19. This makes it worse than even the city rating of a Ford Explorer SUV.
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Old October 20th   #4
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Yeah, that article is more biased than the first. When the real car is here, we'll do some testing.
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Old October 20th   #5
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Here's a letter from Henrik Fisker to the current deposit owners:

"Dear Fisker Karma Customer,

We recently received final certification from the EPA, including the fuel economy label. The two primary numbers, 52 MPGe in all-electric battery mode and 20 MPG in gasoline range-extending mode, are based on the EPA’s tests and reflect one viewpoint of energy efficiency in those two modes. However, we do not believe that the label communicates the entire story.

You are the first drivers in the premium luxury category that do not have to choose between driving pure-electric or having unlimited range. The Karma Sedan gives you both options.

As Karma drivers, you will utilize our electric-only mode most of the time - especially in the city - thereby achieving a much higher MPG than suggested by the EPA fuel economy label and contributing zero emissions during day-to-day driving. We strongly believe that many Karma drivers will get up to 50 miles of all-electric driving range on a single charge, as reflected in our early field testing.

Traditional fuel economy numbers are structured for a conventional vehicle running on gasoline as a single fuel. With a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, driver choices and operating behavior can affect the overall fuel economy more so than any other type of vehicle. The EPA tests for vehicles in this category are a relatively new endeavor and in our view do not reflect the variability that is inherent with a plug-in hybrid vehicle – and therefore, present a conservative scenario.

In short, the fuel economy of your Karma Sedan will depend on how you use it.


Column 1 Miles driven between charges
Column 2 MPG equivalent of gasoline used
Column 3 Cost per mile
Column 4 Annual fuel cost
Column 5 Gallons of gas consumed per month
Column 6 Miles driven between fill-ups
1 2 3 4 5 6
30 Battery only $0.08 $600 0 No fill-ups
40 100 $0.10 $1,100 9 950+
50 56 $0.12 $1,600 20 530+

DISCLAIMER: Based on EPA Label data. Assumes driver fully charges vehicle once per day and drives 22 days per month.

If you drive 32 miles or less in a single day, as 61% of drivers in the United States do, you could conceivably use no gasoline at all. If you drive 40 miles or less in a given day, as nearly 68% of drivers in the United States do, your overall fuel economy (assuming a full charge each day) will be the equivalent of 100 MPG.

Additionally, the EPA reported that the Fisker Karma Sedan has a tailpipe CO2 rating of 188 g/mi., which is about half the emissions of Karma’s direct competitors and better than nearly all hybrids on the market today.

Historically, you have had to make a choice between luxury, performance and environmental responsibility. We are not asking you to make that compromise. You can drive with zero emissions, utilizing zero gasoline, or you can choose unlimited range. It’s nice to have choices.

Should you have any questions, our Customer Service Team will be happy to speak with you. The team can be reached at 1-855-575-7577 Monday through Friday between the hours of 5am and 11pm EST.

Sincerely,
Henrik Fisker
Henrik Fisker
CEO and Chief Designer"
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Old October 27th   #6
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EPA says Fisker Karma is a 2.5-ton subcompact


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The Fisker Karma is 16.5 feet long and tips the scales at 5,300 pounds. Sounds more like a 1960s Lincoln than an extended-range green machine capable of 32 miles on electric power alone, doesn't it? Actually, if you ask the Environmental Protection Agency, the Karma is a lot more like a subcompact.

That's because the Karma features interior volume of less than 100 cubic feet, and Auto Observer reminds us that the EPA classifies vehicles based on cabin volume. This odd determinant of vehicle size means that the Aston Martin Rapide, Ford Mustang and the Bentley Continental Convertible are all subcompacts. If that makes no sense to you, you're not alone. Automakers have long used the overall exterior length to classify vehicle size.

As you can imagine, Fisker isn't all that thrilled with the EPA's subcompact label or its methodology for determining fuel economy. The automaker claims that the EPA used a worst-case scenario to come up with 32 miles on electric power, and the company maintains it is certain that the Karma can travel 50 miles without using any gasoline. Overall, the Karma received a rating of 52 mpge due to the fact that it averaged just 20 miles per gallon on gas-only power during EPA testing.
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Old October 27th   #7
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More stories about the misappropriation of tax dollars.The purpose of the government is not to invest in industry. The government is there to govern. Industry is the province of the private sector so the winners and losers are the private investors, not the taxpayers whose taxes are supposed to support government and infrastructure and national defense.
This is a bad idea, just like most of the ones coming out of Washington for the last few years.It makes for a false economy.
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Old October 27th   #8
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Originally Posted by mailman View Post
More stories about the misappropriation of tax dollars.The purpose of the government is not to invest in industry. The government is there to govern. Industry is the province of the private sector so the winners and losers are the private investors, not the taxpayers whose taxes are supposed to support government and infrastructure and national defense.
This is a bad idea, just like most of the ones coming out of Washington for the last few years.It makes for a false economy.
But this is supposed to fall under 'government incentives' to help promote commerce. Yes, there are people making bad decisions, but there's a lot worse stuff than this going on like all the illegals, which are thankfully leaving our state in droves. I never got paid by C&K Roofing for the over $2200 of damage to my car.
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Old October 28th   #9
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Originally Posted by Samir View Post
it is a global economy, so even the American cars aren't American, and even the Japanese ones aren't Japanese.
My Honda has a label that 99% of the parts were made in Japan, and I think it was assembled there.. but I could be wrong :P

On a topical note... Looking at the weight of the Fisker (5300lbs!!!) lets you know that it's not going to be very efficient. Likely a large portion of the weight is batteries, but a Prius weights nearly 1500 lbs less?!?

I think making a 'performance-hybrid' is a doomed venture to begin with. I wonder what the MPG will be in an optimal situation if you travel your 35miles on electric and then blow the rest of your fuel with spirited driving.. I'm betting the average is low low low!
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Old October 28th   #10
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My Honda has a label that 99% of the parts were made in Japan, and I think it was assembled there.. but I could be wrong :P
It probably is fully made in Japan. It probably wasn't cost-effective to them to tool up US plants for a car that's sold more there and in foreign markets than here. But I think your car is more an exception to the rule. My 1994 Accord was assembled here from Japanese and US parts, my 1993 and 1995 Altimas were assembled here from Japanese, US, and other parts. The Continental (German) tires on my Porsche were made in France, and the Continental race tires used in the Grand Am series are made in the USA. Aftermarket radiators that I was buying at a wholesale price of $25 were made in China for $5 and sold retail for $100. Race radiators are made in Japan or USA and cost as much as $250 wholesale. Everything is from all over now that logistics cost less than ever.
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On a topical note... Looking at the weight of the Fisker (5300lbs!!!) lets you know that it's not going to be very efficient. Likely a large portion of the weight is batteries, but a Prius weights nearly 1500 lbs less?!?

I think making a 'performance-hybrid' is a doomed venture to begin with. I wonder what the MPG will be in an optimal situation if you travel your 35miles on electric and then blow the rest of your fuel with spirited driving.. I'm betting the average is low low low!
I think weight is only part of the equation. The track review that was done on the pre-production prototype fared really well. Even if acceleration is an issue, corner and handling are still there for those that want to use it. And this is an area where most luxury cars just don't have it.

Spirited driving doesn't kill mileage as it would in the traditional sense. It's just like the Prius in that respect--the drivetrain is not coupled with the engine, so the only job the engine has is to charge the batteries. If you drain the batteries, you'll need a charge. If you keep pounding the batteries, the engine will have to charge, but will do so at a higher efficiency than driving the car directly.

I still think this is a viable concept, even with it's flaws. It's just like the media to poke holes and shout doom-and-gloom over something new. It's a really difficult thing to create something totally new, and no one ever gets it dead-on the first time since the product and market is moving target.

We'll see what happens when the first car is driving around in Huntsville and I get a chance to do a real hands on review with some real, Huntsville driving fuel consumption numbers.
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Old December 24th   #11
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Battery maker A123 has announced that batteries it supplied to Fisker Automotive for its Karma range-extended luxury sedan might have "misaligned" hose clamps for the cooling system, which could cause coolant to leak. Unabated, A123 admits the leak could cause an electrical short-circuit.

According to Bloomberg-BusinessWeek, the company has a fix for the issue, and luckily the issue was discovered when there are no more than 50 Karmas needing the repair. A123 provides batteries to several other OEMs, but only Fisker's batch appears to suffer from the cooling issue.
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Old December 31st   #12
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These type of things are going to happen for a first-time production car. It's great to see that it's a little issue with a quick fix rather than a major design flaw that was overlooked. That would completely kill a product.
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Old January 19th   #13
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Anyone else see the Fisker dealer attached to the Porsche one on 72? Two Karmas on the showroom as of yesterday. Awesome..

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Old January 19th   #14
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Yep. I need to go by and do a full out review on one of them when I have time.
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Old January 20th   #15
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The funny thing about these electric cars is that producing the batteries often negates the lowered pollution from the vehicle itself.

The Prius is a prime example. In order to mine the raw materials, manufacture and then ship those batteries from all corners of the world through all sorts of processes...you actually have the potential to create more pollution than you clean up.

All you are really doing is shifting the pollution responsibility and the Prius owner believes they are actually saving the environment because they are not DIRECTLY responsible for polluting. It is on the companies who manufacture that create the extra pollution.

This has always been my gripe with environmentally friendly initiatives, especially in the auto industry. It will get better down the line but right now it does not help. You have to think big picture and the entire process when measuring environmental impact.

I know this isn't exactly an authority (being a forum post) but it basically says what I am describing: http://forums.motortrend.com/70/6259...-go/index.html
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Old January 20th   #16
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Yep, I agree with you rayman. I think the shift is important to consumers because the cost also shifts. Their fuel expenses go down, although I'm wondering if maintenance for hybrid vehicles is more or less considering the increase in moving parts, but an engine that is only revving to a steady state.
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Old August 22nd   #17
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Leaked Document Shows Fisker Has More Issues Than Fiery Cars

http://jalopnik.com/5936741/leaked-f...ium=socialflow

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The Fisker Karma is a lovely car. It's long, low, striking, and sort of looks like a couple of mermaids going at it in a sleeping bag. It also costs over $100 grand, and has certainly had its share of little annoyances. Like fires and such.

So when you combine an exclusive, expensive car with recurring issues, you'd think the company would be absolutely bending over backwards to make their customers wildly happy in every way they can. Especially considering the large amount of government funding at play. Well, luckily for those of us not fortunate enough to have a hundred large to throw around, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Jalopnik has come into possession of a document sent to some, but not all, Fisker Karma owners. The document, engagingly titled Customer Town Hall FAQs, has also found its way into Fisker forums, and reveals a number of disappointments for Karma owners.

For example, the navigation UI and operation have been a source of much complaint; our source expressed a lot of frustration with the current system. The document acknowledges the poor performance, and does suggest that software upgrades will be coming to fix some issues — at a price. You'd think if you pay the cost of roughly four FR-Ses for a car they can throw the damn updates in for free. Hell, even Apple gives bug fixes for free. I can't imagine the revenue stream is that great from software updates, so this move seems ill-advised, and will probably just annoy owners.

There's also a nice little bit of schadenfreude for those of us driving crappy old cars without nav systems at all. It seems there's no way to shut the voice off on the nav system. This brings up a fascinating philosophical question: is it better to have no nav system at all, or a nav system where you can never stop the damn robot lady from asking you to make a U-Turn every 500 feet? I suspect there will be a number of Karmas brought in to dealers in the future with fist damage to the nav screen.

There's other questionable things, like the change so the battery is not charged while in 'sport mode', which differs from cars that were shown to potential customers, and a 'stealth' mode where the gas engine can still come on. That sort of defeats the point of 'stealth' mode, right? I mean, how are you supposed to quietly drive by the pool or bathroom windows of your stalkees if the damn engine's going to kick on?

None of these issues is particularly damning, by itself, but one would think that a car company with the goals and ambitions of Fisker would be trying a bit harder to keep their normally pampered clientele happy. I know it's not easy, but they knew what they were getting into. So come on, guys. Have some pity on the poor rich bastards who drive your cars, and get the nav robot to shut up.
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