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Print 70 comment(s) - last by Penti.. on Oct 27 at 12:29 PM

Karma is too heavy for sipping fuel

The official EPA numbers came out recently for the Fisker Karma and they were much, much lower than many expected. The EPA rated the Karma at a scant 20 mpg on gasoline. Considering the car was supposed to be a green hybrid, it's rating is disappointing, especially when you think that other hybrids of the size can achieve much better numbers. The all-electric (battery) range is rated at 32 miles for a combined 56 mpg-e.
 
If you were wondering why a car with a hybrid power plant was rated so low on gasoline power, it’s due to the massive weight of the Karma. The Karma has a curb weight of 5,300 pounds. Most of the weight is due to the heavy and expensive lithium-ion battery pack that motivates the Karma in electric mode.

The Fisker Karma weighs nearly as much as an 8-passenger Ford Expedition 

With the low economy rating of the Karma and the fact that Fisker was one of the green firms that was loaned $529 million in federal funds, some are afraid it will be the next Solyndra. Solyndra is the solar firm that went under after receiving Federal funds for operation. While the EPA thinks its numbers for the Karma are accurate, Henrik Fisker thinks that drivers will see a better driving range.
 
Fisker said, "We firmly believe that most owners will get up to 50 miles of driving range on a single charge, and will use our electric-only mode most of the time they drive the car."
 
Much of the Karma is already made from aluminum, so the place to save weight is going to be the battery pack. This will be something that happens in the future as battery technology improves. Another choice would be going to lighter and more exotic materials for the construction like carbon fiber.
 
The problem is that the Karma is already priced at about $96,000 and moving to exotic materials would only drive that cost up. So far 1,300 people have placed deposits on the Karma


Fisker Karma

Source: Plugincars



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RE: Not to worry
By DT_Reader on 10/25/2011 2:20:16 PM , Rating: 3
Are you in the 1%, or do you bicycle to work? We 99%ers will be buying ICEs for some time to come. $96,000 is way beyond my bank account.


RE: Not to worry
By autoboy on 10/25/2011 2:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
You can get a Nissan Leaf. You'll only need to push it home once in awhile as you exhaust the 50 mile range.

ICE is now cleaner than our coal power plants. Give it a break and it may surprise you.

According to new studies out we've had a break in warming for the last 10 years giving us some extra time to stay away from range anxiety.


RE: Not to worry
By Omega215D on 10/25/2011 5:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well, there's always the concern of depletion of oil but that's still a ways off and the US barely touched its own reserve.

ICEs make sense because it can be refueled in a matter seconds to minutes and be on your way. Don't always need to rely on gasoline for combustion as there are other sources available. A gas/ electric generator is a good option for commuters and cross country and possibly even performance autos.


RE: Not to worry
By autoboy on 10/25/2011 7:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
There is a LOT of oil sitting around undiscovered or too expensive to extract. We're not going to run out of oil but eventually we may run out of cheap oil. Until that happens there is no economic sense to battery power unless we somehow discover a cheap and disruptive battery technology capable of 400+ miles to a charge which would probably be enough to exceed anybody's ability to drive that far in one day.


RE: Not to worry
By Ringold on 10/25/2011 10:10:17 PM , Rating: 3
Idk, 400 is a lot, even for this huge country. I'd say 200 miles with a quicker recharge and 5 to 10k lower price on the Leaf with those specs would be the end-of-the-ICE sweet-spot.

Plus, improvements to the grid to accommodate the fact that some people will want/need to recharge during the day around peak usage times instead of purely at night.


RE: Not to worry
By autoboy on 10/26/2011 5:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
with 200 you would still need another car for road trips. I'm actually considering buying a Tesla Model S with the 200 mile battery. It's kinda strange too cause I don't actually believe in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming but I like the idea of the technology of the Model S, would love to be able to refuel at home, and 200 miles would leave me with 50% charge left after a pretty much any single trip I can take around the Bay Area. I'd like to keep 50% in case of emergency, like needing to pick a friend up from the airport or some other unexpected trip.

I see the Tesla Model S all over the place here and it's gorgeous, roomy, and fast. I'm actually planning on running over to the dealer this weekend to see what's going on with the waiting list.


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