Fisker Automotive co-founder Henrik Fisker describes the Karma as a "sedan with a coupe-like appearance." Design highlights include a long hood, short deck, low roofline, wide stance, and pronounced fenders. (Source: Fisker Automotive)
Cap'n, Fisker makes a good point. The plug-in hybrid is as convenient as a regular gasoline powered car. Actually, with the ability to charge at home and energy recvovery technologies, it would be more convenient since you would not need to go to the gas station so often. Having a high end vehicle of this type is a good thing, I guess, but not that important in the long run. In the auto industry you make money on volume.
Once the price of plug-in hybrids comes down sufficiently this may become a standard. There is a problem, though, and that is the investment cost. I recently talked to someone who was looking at an American made hybrid. He settled for a smaller car from the same manufacturer. He was looking for a commuter car, and the smaller car got very good mileage without the up front costs. The hybrid in question was not very much more expensive and the pay back period was reasonable. The point is, it still may not be worth it.
Excellent points, naperlou. For plug-in hybrids to reach the masses, the cost of batteries must come down, or they must use smaller batteries. Fisker's situation is a little different, though. The company is targeting upscale buyers who love cars and aren't as concerned about hitting a low price point. They're willing to spend more for a stylish car, and Fiskers are very stylish.
I think the last paragraph of this article is the most telling where Mr. Fisker exclaims that it is easier to start a restaurant franchise than to overcome the regulation barriers of creating a 'clean' energy vehicle. I would like to respectfully challenge the critics who complain that there are not enough clean energy vehicles out there to have an honest discussion about the agency and economic barriers that a start-up car companiy faces.
@Captain, there is no doubt that Hybrid vehicles always have an edge over single fueled vehicles. Even in my car along with gasoline, I had fitted gas converter too, so that depends up on situation, I can switch between this too. if such options are available in electrical vehicles too, it's a great advantage.
Yes, it is a good point and seems to be what many agree on in the industry. But let's not forget it serves Fisker's purpose because his company is focusing on hybrids. They may make sense definitely, and seem to be at this point more practical But I don't think auto makers and engineers should give up on coming up with a better battery for pure battery-powered vehicles. There is a lot of promising work going on in this space.
It's a roomy sedan, I saw one up close and it has a legit back seat. I think you have to put this in perspective. The 7 series BMW that this is competing with gets 17 mpg combined. You cannot have luxury without weight, and it takes more power and more gas to move that extra weight. This car answers that dilemma in an incredibly elegant way. If I had 125k to drop on automobile I would definitely buy one of these. But alas, engineers are a bunch of ninnies and never step up to ask for the money they deserve so I won't be able to afford one any time soon.
The key word is the "Range Extender". Combined with a proper low fuel consuming engine could be the future car on the road. I can imagine than the people will drive electric in the city and electric or conventional outside. By the way "Range extender" is an excelent term to look for in web.
I think you have to put the term "eco-friendly" in perspective. How much does a Prius cost, to own or to manufacture? If a millionaire turns up in a Prius, the statement is not "I'm saving gas", it's "I'm saving resources".
A half century ago, cars were still built by people, not robots. Even on some of the countryís longest assembly lines, human workers installed windows, doors, hoods, engines, windshields, and batteries, with no robotic aid.
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