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Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid
Fisker says "range varies greatly on the conditions of the road and how you drive the car"

Fisker Automotive's range-extended plug-in hybrid, the Fisker Karma, has received a lower-than-expected EPA rating that falls below the likes of the Chevrolet Volt and the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In.

Over the past few years, Fisker Automotive has claimed that its $96,000 Fisker Karma would receive 50 miles of all-electric range. But the official EPA rating has been released, and it says otherwise.

The EPA rated the Fisker Karma at 52 mpg-equivalent (mpg-e) for combined city and highway driving. This means 32 miles of all-electric range and 20 mpg when the gasoline engine takes over.

Fisker Karma

"As with all electric vehicles, range varies greatly on the conditions of the road and how you drive the car," said Fisker in a statement after the EPA ratings were released. "Overall, we are very pleased with the results of the EPA's tests."

Fisker added that the Karma's 52 mpg-e is not far off from the 54 mpg fleet average that the Obama administration expects in 2025, which is still 14 years away.

In comparison, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt has a price tag of $39,995 and an EPA rating of 93 mpg-e with a 37-mile all-electric range, and 37 mpg with the gasoline engine. The 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In is priced at $32,760 with an expected 87 mpg-e.

Fisker Karma production kicked off in March 2011, and by July, it was reported that Fisker had 3,000 Karma orders and sold out until early 2012. The Karma runs off batteries, and once depleted, it uses a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to recharge the batteries and run for an extended range.


Fisker Surf

Source: Inside Line



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RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By FITCamaro on 10/20/2011 1:54:03 PM , Rating: 1
I didn't say combined. And I thought the number was 31, not 30.

Of course talking to people who owned them, they got more than 30 mpg highway.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By Keeir on 10/20/2011 2:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
Great.

You do realize that 20 MPG is the Karma's EPA COMBINED number right?

I can't find that EPA HIGHWAY number, that would actually be a good comparison to the Chevy Cobalt SS 2008 Manual that fueleconomy.gov is telling me was 30 MPG.

Not sure what good it does to talk down EPA combined numbers with person experience HWY numbers. Otherwise, we should just all bow our heads to the 50+ MPG 1990s Civic eh?


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By corduroygt on 10/20/2011 2:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
BMW 528i gets 26 mpg EPA combined and it's a big and heavy car just like the Karma...


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By Keeir on 10/20/2011 2:57:27 PM , Rating: 3
BMW 528i - 2011 version does get 25 combined.

Yes the BMW 5 series has around the same Aerodrag as the Karma. However, the 5 series, pig though it is, still wieghts 10% or more less than the Karma.

People seem to be struggling here. The Karma is a 75,000+ car with a hybrid drivetrain. It is more in the Porsche Panamera --> Maserati Quattroporte range than BMW 5 series.

The Government Loan to Fisker was ment to help along Project Nina. Project Nina is supposedly a BMW 3/5 Series, Model S, etc compeditor. IE, a semi-practical 4 door luxury sedan. Similiar to Tesla's model, Fisker is first making an ultra luxury car, then a luxury car, then a normal car.

If you want to say a Porsche Panamera Hybrid cost about the same and fills the same niche and gets 25 MPG combined... finally we have a comparison!

However, a Porsche Panamera Hybrid requires ~166 kWh of gasoline to go 100 miles. Over the similiar distance (assuming 50% electric and plugged into the US power grid) a Karma will require ~100 kWh of Gasoline, 51 kWh of Coal, 18 kWh of NG, and ~9 kWh of Nuclear/Hydro/Renewables

The Karma will require slightly more Fossil Fuel Use, but emit less C02 and require significant less oil to be imported. Better yet in my opinion, if the US decides to use significant Nuclear, Hyrdo, and Renewables, the Karma could actually use less Fossil Fuel, C02, etc in the future. And by driver choice, the Karma can approach nearly zero fuel use.. the Panamera Hybrid always uses oil.

Plug-in electrics are what the consumer makes of them. If you choose to never charge them and drive around on gasoline alone all the time... they are not a smart choice. The wieght of the battery alone ensures you are using more gasoline that would normally by required. Plug-in electrics should be used by people who's normal drives are near the AER of the car! In this case, the Plug-in electric gives all the benifits of an electric car (lower importation of energy, lower fuel cost, lower C02 usage, flexibility on power source, reduced noise pollution, reduced air pollution directly next to sidewalks) without the number 1 and number 2 drawbacks of electric, limited range and limited refueling areas.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By corduroygt on 10/20/2011 5:20:17 PM , Rating: 3
Who cares about the 2011 version, I specifically meant 2012 version with a similar engine, a 2-liter turbo, and that thing gets 22-32 mpg.

Also, how do you know the weight of the Fisker, since it's not even for sale yet? Even if you add 400 lbs of ballast to the 528i, it will still be more efficient. Series hybrids just don't work on highways very efficiently, and that's a fact. 20 mpg on gasoline alone is pathetic.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By Keeir on 10/20/2011 6:25:03 PM , Rating: 1
#1. While the curb wieght of the Fisker Karma has yet to be announced, keep in mind that the Fisker Karma is longer and wider than a 528i and in addition to all major components of a 260 hp Turbo 4 plus 22kWh of battery. 22kWh of battery clearly is well past 500 lbs. I fully expect the Karma's curb wieght to be in the 4000+ range. Heck a Chevy Volt is ~3,800 lbs with a 16 kWh battery and a 1.4 Liter Engine.

#3. 20 MPG is normal (actually its pretty good) for the world of Ultra Luxury Sedans starting around 80+.

As I have stated and will state again, one particular series hybid is not going to be everyone's best solution. The best series hybrid for an individual consumer will be a series hybrid that deliever 5% less AER than they typically drive on a given day. For instance, lets say some wealthy CEO typically drives 35 miles a day but once a month for some reason drives 500 miles. Over the course of the month the CEO will drive 1515 miles of which 960 fall under 32 miles per day.

The CEO has a choice in cars to buy, a Porsche Panamera Hybrid, an M5, a Tesla Model S 320 mile range, or a Fisker Karma. All of these cars will likely be between 80,000-100,000. All of these cars are 4 door machines. All of these cars come laden with high luxury and high gadget. The M5 is clearly the performance option, the Model S clearly the enviromental choice. The Panamera Hybrid and Karma repersent compromises within the segment.

The M5 will use 3.7 MWh of gasoline
The Panamera Hybrid will use 2.5 MWh of gasoline
The Karma will use 1.1 MWh of gasoline + 680 kWh of electricity
The Tesla Model S will use ~0-2.0 MWh of gasoline (depending on transport for 1 500 mile trip) + 400-500 kWh of electricity

btw
The Volt would use .5 MWh of gasoline + 420 kWh of electrity
The Prius Plug-In would use .8 MWh of gasoline + 150 kWh of electrity

While the Karma might not be the best enviromental choice for that CEO, the Karma is does reduce gasoline consumption over the Porsche Panamera Hybrid, reduce C02 emissions, and reduce real pollution.

The MPG of Series Plug-In past the AER is not that important unless you happen to drive past the AER often.

Again, do not buy a plug-in if you drive past the AER often. It really doesn't matter if its series or not. The extra mass of the battery will impact your fuel economy significantly as the car will require more energy to move for all those miles you are not in the AER compared to the same car with no battery.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By corduroygt on 10/21/2011 9:20:58 AM , Rating: 2
1. 528i also has a 2 liter turbo 4 at 240hp, which is underrated by BMW as usual with their turbo engines. Given the fact that Karma is more expensive than the 528i, they'd use more lightweight materials to get the weight down and to make up for the battery pack weight. Plus, it does not have a transmission like the 528i does, so there are some weight savings there in addition to the aluminum body.

2. S350 BlueTec gets 21/31 mpg = 26 mpg combined. It's also ridiculous to compare mpg based on price. A 528i would offer the same amount of interior room as the Karma since it doesn't have any batteries and it's way cheaper to boot.

Series Hybrid is a losing proposition and the most efficient way to get IC engine to the wheels will always be a mechanical transmission instead of an electric one. Karma is an expensive and half baked Volt, at least Volt still has a transmission to connect the IC engine to the wheels directly.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By BZDTemp on 10/21/2011 12:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why you bringing up the 528i because it doesn't matter. The Fisker Karma is not that kind of car it's a luxury thing for those with cash for that sort of thing - it's for people that may otherwise buy a Merc S, the 4-door Porsche, the 4-door Aston or maybe if they really love the BMW's then the a 7-series one from Bavaria.

PS. It has been stated by a Fisker Automotive board member that the Karma tips the scale at more than 5.000 pounds so no need to keep wondering about that.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By Keeir on 10/21/2011 2:41:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's also ridiculous to compare mpg based on price.


I live in the real world. One where people buy the best they can afford. A 528i is not the car someone would buy if they even consider a Karma. A 550i... maybe. More likely an M5. Thats the truth of the situation.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By corduroygt on 10/21/2011 5:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
How about a S350 Bluetec with 26 combined mpg? Karma's efficiency is a failure.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By Keeir on 10/21/2011 8:24:42 PM , Rating: 2
An S350 Bluetec is listed as 25 MPG on the fueleconomy.gov website (21/31). Combined Numbers indicate a backroom calculation by the EPA on wieghting of 5 different EPA cycles. One can not simply take (City + HWY)/2. Karma's number this way might be 21 or 22.

The S350 uses Diesel fuel which contains on average 9-10% more energy than a gallon of gasoline.

A true comparison needs to ake into account that for the first 30 miles of any trip in a Karma will be electric (32 per EPA)

Lets assume two trips of 50 miles for 100 miles total. 60 miles electric for the Karma and 40 miles at 20 MPG. 100 miles at 25 MPG for the S350.

160 kWh of Diesel Fuel
20 kWh of Natural Gas (Heat to Refine Diesel)
4 kWh of Electricity --> 6 kWh of Coal, 2 kWh of NG, 1 kWh of Nuclear/Hydro/Renewables

Total Energy Consume: 189 kWh
Total Fossil Fuel Consume: 188 kWh
Total Imported Oil: 105 kWh
Estimated Cost: 17.2 Dollars (5.45 for imported Oil)

A Karma over the same distance (60% electric)

72 kWh of Gasoline
10 kWh of NG (Heat to refine Gasoline)
44 kWh of Electricity -->66 kWh of Coal, 22 kWh of NG, 11 kWh Nuclear/Hydro

Total Energy Consumed: 181 kWh
Total Fossil Fuel: 170 kWh
Total Imported Oil: 46.8 kWh
Estimated Cost: 14.2 dollars (2.43 for Imported Oil)

Seems to me, if you drive two trips of 50 miles (100 total miles), then the Karma will use 4-5% less total energy, 10% less fossil fuel energy, and reduce imported oil by 55% in comparison to that S350 Bluetec. Oh, and it costs 17% less in running as well. Not sure what there is to dislike.

Assumptions:
Distrabution of Gasoline/Diesel from Refinary: .95
Refining Diesel/Gasoline: .85 (ANL Report) --> 5 kWh of NG per gallon Gasoline + .9 kWh of Electricity (Again from the Argonne National Lab. Report)
Transmission of Electrity: .92 (per DOE/EIA)
US Power Grid per 2009
Efficieny of Coal Power: .33 (EIA)
Efficieny of NG Power: .5 (EIA)
Price per Gallon of Diesel and Premium Fuel: 4.30 (price outside my door)
Price per kWh of Electricity: 0.15 (Lowest Californa Price for Nighttime Electric Car Charging)
Assume Cost to Transport Coal/NG to power Station=Same as Oil to Refinary on a per kWh basis (Note, since 65% of US Transportation Oil is imported this seems generous to the Fuel primary car)


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By corduroygt on 10/23/2011 12:13:20 AM , Rating: 2
Or it can be 27-28 mpg...don't always assume the drastically lower case, diesels are very efficient.

The rest of your post is rubbish, it assumes you can always recharge the Karma and never take long trips. The Karma is a half baked hybrid, and has worse technology than the Volt or even the Plug-in Prius.

Does not matter since $100K cars don't sell in large volumes, but I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole even if I were in the market.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By Mint on 10/23/2011 4:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
No, people who champion the Tesla S are the ones that are ignoring long trips.

The majority of drivers do 70-80% of their driving with a steady weekday commute to work, maybe 10% tacked onto that for those odd weekdays where you drive more, and the remaining 10-20% on road trips.

The bulk of the Karma's driving will be on battery power.

This car is competing with Maseratis, Aston Martins, Panameras, Jaguar XJs, etc. A 5-series is not in the same class of luxury. A S350 is notably slower, doesn't handle nearly as well, and has a look and feel that targets a completely different market. It also isn't going to eliminate 80% of its fuel consumption by running on batteries. Who cares if it can save 100 gallons/year over some imaginary dumbass Karma user that never plugs it in when in reality the latter will save 400 gallons/year.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By Keeir on 10/23/2011 4:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The rest of your post is rubbish, it assumes you can always recharge the Karma and never take long trips.


what part of "if you constantly drive beyond the AER of the plug-in, you shouldn't buy it" are you having trouble with corduroygt.

Even in my example where a person drives 50 miles a day not the 25-40 I would recommend for the Karma, the Karma is better than all but a pure electric. Guess what? the typical car like the Karma in the US travels less than 25 miles a day on average! Its not the type of car that is taken on long road trips, nor on super long daily commutes.

PS. I find it assuming that so many people are willing to give other cars higher than their EPA combined number, but are unwilling to think the same of this car. Apples to Apples folks. EPA rating is one such. Its true Diesels and large horsepower cars often get surprising highway cruising numbers, but the same might be true of the Karma.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By FITCamaro on 10/20/2011 8:08:54 PM , Rating: 2
20 mpg combined is even more pathetic with a 4 cylinder engine. Especially at that price.

That means in the city it gets worse than 20 mpg. What is its numbers? 16 and 24? 15 and 25? Oh goody. Roughly the same numbers as a 505 hp Z06 Corvette.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By Keeir on 10/21/2011 5:02:24 AM , Rating: 2
Sigh... alright. One more time.

I just went to Fueleconomy.gov and looked a 2012 Corvettes.

The Z06? It gets a combined number of 17.

Why don't you just admit that you hate the Karma and accept that you can't even think rationally about it. Karma fuel economy is disappointing, but not low given its class of car. Its also the second most environmental ultra luxury car after the Tesla Roadster.

Each person who buys a Karma over a Panamera is reducing our dependence on foreign oil while promoting investing in American Power companies and American Fossil Fuels... all while having significantly lower running costs. Not really sure why you have such a hatred for this car... it pretty much wins on every front except for the 7,500 tax credit... which it really doesn't need (I think that credit should have been written to exclude all cars over 50,000 personally).


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By FITCamaro on 10/21/2011 1:08:09 PM , Rating: 1
No I don't hate the Karma. I don't care if people buy it.

I'm saying for $57,000, I wouldn't buy a car that gets under 30 mpg when it only has a 2.0L engine and is supposedly "environmentally friendly".

Now I do hate though that the tax payer helped front over $500 million dollars for this thing and its not even going to be built here like the administration claimed and bragged about to justify the loan. All so wealthier people can buy a fancy electric car that gets shitty mileage and still feel good about themselves.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By Keeir on 10/21/2011 2:35:00 PM , Rating: 2
So many wrongs.

#1. The Fisker Karma is a 95,000+ dollar car. The forthcoming Tesla Model S is rumored to start at 57,000.

#2. The Government loan was for Project Nina. A car that will be built in the USA in Delaware. Project Nina will be a 3/5 series compeditor and is rumored to use the same engine as the BMW 528i. I repeat, the Fisker Karma is NOT Project Nina. Similiar to Tesla, Fisker is first producing an Ultra Lux Car, then a Luxury Sedan, and then normal Sedan. The concept in both cases is by the time the normal sedan is being developed, costs and efficienies will rise.

#3. No, the Karma travels 30+ miles at 65 kWh/100 miles. Only if exceeding 30 miles from the large recharge would the "20" MPG come into play.

If you personally travel farther than 30 miles between recharge often, then the Fisker Karma is obviously not the right choice for you.

In any Plug-In Series Hybrid Concept the ICE is there for emergency use, long term travel use, etc. A Plug-In Series Hybrid is not for the traveling salesman. Its a replacement for the 75%+ of automobiles that rarely leave a 30 miles radius of thier garage location.

A simple question FIT. How much range would an electric car need to have before you would use it as Primary Car? How much range would the same car need to have if it had an emergency backup that could convert easily available fuels into electricity? I am guess the answer the first is 300+ miles and the answer to the second is about 5-10 miles further than your roundtrip to work. That's a HUGE differen ce in required battery size.... in essense a 100 mile AER PHEV with a backup will be cheaper than a 300 miles BEV.... and 3! 100 mile AER PHEV can be built with the same amount of battery material. Thats the point of the Karma. It allows for 2-3 Karma's to be built using essentially the same resources as a single Tesla Roadster.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By FITCamaro on 10/21/2011 1:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
What is this going on combined numbers thing either? Also its 18 combined on that website.

I don't pay attention to a supposed combined number, I look at city and highway fuel economy. 15 city and 24 highway on a Z06. To me that averages to 19.5.

Damn good for a 505hp 7.0L V8. And my friend who actually has one gets 27 mpg in his at 80 mph.


RE: 20 mpg is pathetic
By Keeir on 10/21/2011 2:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't pay attention to a supposed combined number, I look at city and highway fuel economy. 15 city and 24 highway on a Z06. To me that averages to 19.5.


Then don't pay attention to the 20 rating for the Karma. Its the combined number after all.

So what you friend gets X MPG. Maybe you friend would get 30 MPG in the Karma at 80 mph! Who knows until your friend drives the Karma for 3,000-4,000 miles.

Hell, I get 28 MPG combined at the pump from my car thats EPA rated combined at 22 MPG... and up to 34 MPG highway. That really doesn't matter since you have to drive like me, in my location, and in my temparture zone to get that MPG.


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