Most people would agree that the design of the majority
of hybrids and EVs are dictated more by aerodynamics than by aesthetics. The
average hybrid or EV is made more with an eye towards practicality and economy
than sex appeal. Not all EVs and hybrids have to be boring though; the Tesla
Roadster is a perfect example of an attractive EV.
Perhaps the best looking hybrid to ever hit a
production line is the Fisker Karma. The Karma is a plug-in hybrid that has a
gasoline engine and batteries. The Karma is able to drive for 50 miles on
electricity alone with a full charge before the gasoline engine fires up.
Prototype Karma hybrids were being
tested in late February. A few days after the Karmas went into
testing, Fisker announced that they would sell for close to $100,000 and noted
that it was planning an IPO
for this year.
Fisker has now announced that production
of the Karma hybrids have started.
The final assembly of the Karma is being done in
Finland at the Valmet Automotive plant. Valmet also does the final assembly for
some Porsche AG vehicles as well. The Karma will still reportedly go 50 miles
on a full charge, but that $100,000 price we heard about last month is now
different according to AutoWeek.
reports that the Karma will start at $88,000 which still puts it easily into
the upper end of the luxury segment. Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said,
"We're going to be ramping up very slowly, very carefully to ensure
quality. This year we want to get over 7,000 deliveries."
Fisker still plans the IPO for this year reports AutoWeek and it has recently secured an
additional $150 million in funding to help develop other models including the
Nina sedan set to be built at a former GM plant in Delaware.