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Fisker Karma  (Source: Cars.com)

Fisker Karma Sunset
New plant could create more jobs and greener roads

After Fisker Automotive's first delay pushed the sale of it's Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) from late 2009 to September 2010, another delay is postponing the vehicle's production to February 2011 in order to secure $189 million in additional funding.

The Fisker Karma PHEV made its first debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show as part of the premium green car segment. Fisker Automotive took out a $528.7 million loan from the Department of Energy to start Project NINA, which is a plug-in hybrid car that Fisker plans to build in the United States starting in 2012, manufacturing approximately 75,000 to 100,000 per year. 

Then, back in January, Fisker secured $115 million in funds. Now with the additional $189 million, the company has a total private equity funding of around $339 million. Additional funding means design and engineering goals for the Karma PHEV are now more obtainable.  

With the funds and extended time frame, Fisker plans to "trigger its $528.7 million loan from the Department of Energy," and re-open a General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware. Fisker will eventually use this plant to develop hybrid electric vehicles under the Project NINA program that are lower in cost. Fisker expects the plant to create 2,000 new jobs and save or create another 5,000 more. 

While a press release said Fisker "expects to manufacture the Karma and Project NINA lnes" at their newly purchased GM plant, Russel Datz, a Fisker spokesman, said "Only NINA for now. It's too soon to say if next-gen Karma will also be built there."

Fisker intends to manufacture 75-100 Karma's for testing this year. The company anticipates the Karma having a 50-mile all-electric range and a full range of 350 miles, reaching 67.2 mpg. The Karma can reach 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph. It features a solar roof option for climate control and recharging the battery pack. 

The vehicle will sell in the United States for $87,900



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RE: Well . . .
By Samus on 6/2/2010 1:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
John DeLorean's company was made up of car people, and even though it only took him 2 years to push out the first DMC-12's, the only original thing about the car was the body. The platform was based on a Opel, the engine/transmission were binned from Volvo and the interior was done by Italdesign. He also had inexpensive, quality labor provided by the good people of Ireland, and to this day DMC-12's enjoy the reputation of having the highest ownership satisfaction rating of any vehicle produced in mass quantity in history.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but times have changed. But one thing that hasn't changed is everybody needs help from somebody in the industry. Making a completely original vehicle from scratch takes years even for the largest company. Just ask GM about the Volt.


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