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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 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 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.

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
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.

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