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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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By Masospaghetti on 10/25/2011 3:20:59 PM , Rating: 1
What's left out of the article is that the Karma has 401 total horsepower and 960 ft-lbs of torque. 960, as in more than the Cummins turbodiesel, and more than twice that of a big block Chevy.

This is a high performance exotic, of course it doesn't make financial sense, just like how any car from Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, and Land Rover don't make financial sense. At least in this case, the Karma has cutting-edge drivetrain technology. I hope people buy these in droves so the next generation becomes more affordable. I would much rather those that are well off to spend their money on Karmas than Range Rovers that get 11 mpg and is dressed in a dozen cows' worth of leather.

Besides, 52 mpg-e around town is great considering how much fuel its competition uses.

RE: Sigh...
By idiot77 on 10/25/2011 3:34:47 PM , Rating: 1
You and your facts can go straight to a Liberal website.

RE: Sigh...
By Spuke on 10/25/2011 5:12:42 PM , Rating: 3
Cars in the exotic category don't "become more affordable". This will always be an expensive car. Also, exotics aren't "bought in droves" either because of their expense.

RE: Sigh...
By FITCamaro on 10/26/2011 9:30:00 AM , Rating: 2
And yet with all that torque it still only manages a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds. Putting it slower than a V6 Camaro and only slightly faster than an Altima SE-R.

Some "performance" car. Not to mention the top speed of 125 mph. Great so a Focus can go faster than it and probably get there quicker since that 4 cylinder has to lug that 5300 pounds pretty much by itself. I don't see that motor lasting too long under the strain of keeping this thing at speeds where the electric motor does nothing but add weight. See the 4-cylinder minivans of the 80s as an example of what happens when you put a heavy vehicle behind a small engine.

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