In its blog posting, Consumer Reports indicated that it has had other bad Karma experiences. "We encountered other problems with a Karma press car that visited the track for a few hours, and we have heard of problems at press events," the blog stated. "In addition, we see that some owners are experiencing a variety of issues, as evidenced by forums, such as FiskerBuzz.com."
The incident is bad news for Fisker, which took a hit late last year when it revealed that it was building its luxury plug-in hybrid in Finland, after being awarded a $528.7 million Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan from the US Department of Energy. In a statement issued last year after receiving the loans, Fisker said the money was used to create jobs in the United States and "not a single dollar of the DoE loans has been, or will be, spent outside of America."
The Karma is a luxury plug-in hybrid that operates on the same principal as the Chevy Volt. Its patented EVer powertrain uses a 20.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack and 336V electrical architecture to get a 50-mile all-electric driving range. Its two-liter, direct injection, four-cylinder engine gives the Karma a total range of 300 miles.
Champion says the public shouldn't judge plug-in hybrid technology based on this incident alone. Consumer Reports has tested Chevy Volts for over a year without a technical incident, he told us. "It's just really difficult for a startup company on its first car to get everything right. But this is a little bit beyond that."
The original version of this story stated that Fisker used its US Department of Energy loan to fund production of the Karma automobile in Finland. It did not. Design News regrets the error.
For an up-close look at the Chevy Volt, go to the Drive for Innovation site and follow the cross-country journey of EE Life editorial director, Brian Fuller. In the trip sponsored by Avnet Express, Fuller is taking the fire-engine-red Volt to innovation hubs across America, interviewing engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and students as he blogs his way across the country.
Thanks for the validation. The one sitting on the lot in my town has an MSRP of $48,000. If you take the $7,000 credit off, it becomes $41,000. I'll still take the $25,000 Jetta and my ROI will still be alot quicker that yours.
Fisker Automotive has drawn $193 million from a government loan. You dont even know what you're talking about. Also, bricked is a pejorative term with several meanings. Are you pissed because someone is serving the $100k sedan market? Guys, go back to your Occupy post & leave the reporting to the pros. Laters.
I understand your idea, (I will mention for others who donot know) where overhauling load causes motor to turn into a generator, thus ramping up the DC buss in the AC variable frequency drive.
Difference is that vehicles need to be able to coast, able to take your foot of the gas pedal and let engine braking help to slow you down. If an automatic, cannot place into park until vehicle comes to a stop, as tranny will not let the fork come into play until that point. Been that way for over 40 yrs. If standard, then engine braking is common occurance, as is seen when downshifting when coming to a stop.
With EV's, they do use the regenerative energy (often referred to as energy used during braking) to recharge the batteries.
This being said, best guess is something went wrong with the transistor module responsible for regeneration, and did just as you said, it loaded up the DC buss and tripped out the electronics. One would think there would have been incorporated a simple way to reset. Or did they never plan on that happening?
Another issue that has been mentioned in other forums is the inability to jump start a new vehicle without damaging it's electronics. If this car has these problems now, what will happen when it needs to be jump started?
Either way, at this point I don't think the majority of us will have to worry about this issue, as these models are slightly out of our budget range.....
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