Abysmal EPA MPG Rating for Fisker Karma Blamed on SUV-like Curb Weight
October 25, 2011 1:15 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
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
. 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
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