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Fisker Karma
Fisker Automotive's Karma dazzles in Detroit

DailyTech first brought you details on Fisker Automotive's Hybrid Premium Sports Sedan (HPSS) in late October. The hybrid four-door generated a lot of interest around the web for its sleek design and claimed fuel economy.

The North American International Auto Show, which is currently taking place in Detroit, is the staging ground for more information on Fisker's gorgeous concept. The HPSS is now known as the Karma. Fisker also revealed that the Karma's propulsion system will work similarly to the Chevrolet Volt.

In addition to being a plug-in hybrid, the Karma uses a small internal combustion engine (ICE) to recharge a lithium-ion battery pack -- the ICE provides no forward momentum. The Karma can travel 50 miles on battery power alone before the ICE kicks in.

Fisker says that the powerful electric motors used in its Karma are good enough to propel the Karma to 60 MPH within 5.8 seconds. Top speed is a lofty 125 MPH.

"The car we're showing in Detroit is not your usual show car," said Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker Automotive. "It's actually a preview of the production car you can buy."

According to the Wall Street Journal, Fisker Automotive has the backing of venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers -- the firm has backed famous companies like Google and "We have all the capital we need to move forward according to the plan," said Fisker. "We're still going to raise money later in the year, but we don't see that as a big issue."

The Fisker Karma will be priced at $80,000 and the company envisions sales of 15,000 units per year. Expect deliveries of the Karma to begin in late 2009 or early 2010.

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The right way
By Spivonious on 1/14/2008 10:53:53 AM , Rating: 3
Having an electric motor and a gas generator is the way to do hybrids. Much simpler to design and repair I'd wager.

RE: The right way
By SanLC504 on 1/14/2008 11:01:17 AM , Rating: 3
That may be true, but I wonder how well the batteries will hold up under constant generation from the ICE. Also, with the size of the batteries, how will disposal be if it is wrecked?

RE: The right way
By Xenoterranos on 1/14/2008 11:06:00 AM , Rating: 3
I would assume they'd take them to the same place they take modern horrifically-poisonous-lead-acid batteries, and on the same multi-ton-capacity tow trucks too.

I kind of see your point, but the facilities designed to recycle batteries probably know what they're doing.

RE: The right way
By Spuke on 1/14/2008 7:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
How much it does it cost to recycle batteries?

RE: The right way
By masher2 on 1/14/2008 11:06:18 AM , Rating: 2
> "Much simpler to design and repair I'd wager. "

Sure...but such a system just isn't practical for any hybrid based on NiMH batteries.

Now that lithium is becoming cost-effective, we'll start to see a lot more serial hybrids.

RE: The right way
By Spuke on 1/14/2008 2:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
Having an electric motor and a gas generator is the way to do hybrids. Much simpler to design and repair I'd wager.
How do you figure? You now have two powerplants instead of one. How is that simpler? Also, a combustion engine is a combustion engine. They all work the same. I'd wager that the ICE in those hybrids will offer DI or HCCI with turbocharging or maybe even a diesel. None of those options sound less complicated to me.

RE: The right way
By masher2 on 1/14/2008 2:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
> " How is that simpler?"

I assume the OP meant simpler than a parallel hybrid.

RE: The right way
By Spuke on 1/14/2008 3:36:08 PM , Rating: 2
I assume the OP meant simpler than a parallel hybrid.

RE: The right way
By Spivonious on 1/15/2008 3:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, that's what I meant. With this system there's no need for the fancy power-shifting that needs to go on in a car like the Prius.

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