World’s First Luxury Plug-in Hybrid

By dancurranjr On March 4th, 2009

fisker-hybridFisker Automotive recently advertised their new luxury plug-in hybrid during the Academy Awards gala on Los Angeles television station KTLA.

The production version of its super-lux Karma plug-in hybrid sedan may be in drives ways by the end of the year.  They will also have a convertible called the Karma S in two years which will share the gas-electric drive train with the Karma sedan.  Like the Tesla and the Chevy Volt the Karma is a range-extended electric vehicle.  Like the Volt the Karma will travel 50 miles using only electricity, then if needed the 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine driving a generator that recharges the 22.6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.  The sedan has a rooftop solar panel with 80 cells divided into four zones.  The solar cells will provide 130 watts helping to charge the battery and when parked keeping the car cool inside.  Fisker claims the Karma will have a 100 MPG average similar to the Volt.

The Karma has an aluminum and composite body that holds two electric motors together producing 300 kW or 408 of horsepower.  The sedan weighs 4,650 pounds and will do zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds.  Top speed is 125 MPH.

Fisker has hired engineers like Paul Boskovitch from General Motors who worked on the EV1 electric car and the Volt.

The Karma sedan will have a retail price of $87,900 and for 15% more you can buy the convertible.  Another $18,599 gets you the “Eco-Chic” model which has an interior free of all animal products.

The cars will be assembled by Valmet a Finnish firms that builds cars for Porsche.  Fisker Automotive bought a large share of Advanced Lithium Power which will be its battery supplier.

Fisker still has the arduous task of getting its car certified by the feds.  Some believe this will be difficult by year’s end.  Fisker has received orders for 1,300 cars and claims they will be profitable selling only 4,000 cars a year.  Their goal is 15,000 cars a year.

SOURCE: Beyond Fossil Fuels

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