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Thread: Fisker Karma

  1. #1
    ERIC VFX vfx's Avatar
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    Fisker Karma

    From the LA times:
    http://www.latimes.com/classified/au...autos-highway1

    Independent carmakers lead the way on plug-in hybrids

    Image:
    Henrik Fisker, chief executive of Fisker Automotive, poses with one of his most recent creations, the Tramonto.

    Smaller firms have plans to market gasoline-electric cars that can go 45 to 50 miles on batteries alone.
    By Martin Zimmerman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    September 8, 2007


    Yet another environmentally friendly automobile is headed your way -- if you have a spare $80,000 or so.

    Irvine-based car designer Henrik Fisker just announced plans to unveil a plug-in hybrid at the Detroit auto show in January and to have his high-performance gasoline-electric sedans ready for sale in the U.S. within 18 months.

    If Fisker's hybrid is too rich for your blood, and you're patient, no worries.

    Industry veteran Malcolm Bricklin, who introduced America to both the Subaru brand and the Yugo, also announced plans for a luxury plug-in hybrid sedan, saying his cars would be available in the U.S. by 2010. And he said the sticker price would be about $35,000.

    Whatever the price, suddenly, the plug-in hybrid market looks crowded.

    The hybrids on the road now are powered by a gasoline engine that is assisted by an electric motor and can run short distances at low speeds on electric power alone.

    The plug-in hybrids on the drawing board will feature much more powerful battery packs that can power the car on electricity alone for many miles at highway speeds. And unlike electric cars, when the battery gives out, the gasoline motor takes over -- either to drive the wheels directly or to produce electricity to power the electric motor. The batteries could be recharged overnight at a household outlet.

    Both Fisker and Bricklin are aiming for electricity-only ranges of 45 to 50 miles -- far enough to allow many drivers to spend most days cruising on electrons alone.

    "Our car can become your main car," Fisker says. "If you decide this afternoon, 'Hey, I want to go to Las Vegas,' you can do that. You can't do that in an electric car."

    Plug-ins could be just the thing to satisfy car buyers looking for relief from high gas prices -- and for auto companies facing the possibility of much tougher fuel economy standards from the federal government.

    General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are pursuing plug-in technology but aren't expected to have models in showrooms until shortcomings of the current generation of batteries are overcome.

    Fisker is a well-known designer of high-end sports cars, including the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage. To produce the plug-in hybrid, he has formed a joint venture with Irvine-based Quantum Technologies, which will provide the crucial battery and powertrain design.

    While providing few details, Chief Executive Alan Niedzwiecki said his company had developed a lithium ion battery pack that solves the overheating problems that have complicated development of plug-ins.

    "There are few automotive companies that have their own battery, and we're one of them," he said.

    The joint venture, named Fisker Automotive Inc., will contract out the production of the cars to a vehicle manufacturer. Initial plans are to build 15,000 of the premium-priced vehicles a year, and then in four to five years introduce a second plug-in design priced at $35,000 to $40,000.

    Fisker wouldn't discuss financing, other than to say the company has attracted interest from venture capitalists and has enough cash for initial operations.

    Bricklin, whose up-and-down auto industry career has earned him comparisons to P.T. Barnum, is raising money from a network of dealer-investors and also plans to announce more investors this month. He originally planned to build the cars in China but now is considering other sites.

    Fisker said he was confident he could find buyers for his pricey plug-ins, especially because he plans to market the car heavily in Europe. He expects the car to be popular with movie stars and other wealthy individuals who want to be "eco chic."

    "We wanted to create a vehicle that's environmentally correct but looks good and performs better than the car you're driving today," he said.

    Another high-end, eco-friendly carmaker, Tesla Motors Inc. of San Carlos, Calif., is finding a receptive audience for its $98,000 electric roadster. The company has received nearly 600 orders for the high-performance car, which will be built in England and have a range of more than 200 miles.

    "That's way more than what we were anticipating," said Darryl Siry, head of marketing and sales for Tesla. "We're very happy with it."

    Tesla hopes to ship the first roadster this year and has plans to introduce a less expensive vehicle -- although still priced at more than $50,000 -- by 2010. That car will be assembled in New Mexico.

    Rumors are swirling that the car, code-named Whitestar, will be a plug-in hybrid, which could give it a broader appeal than the electric-only roadster. Siry declined to comment on the rumors.

    Jack Nerad, an auto market analyst at Irvine-based Kelley Blue Book, said independent carmakers like Fisker and Tesla are aiming to meet demand from consumers who are tired of waiting for GM, Toyota and the other auto giants to bring new technology to market.

    "There's a thirst from a segment of the public for environmentally friendlier vehicles than what is now available from the big manufacturers -- even beyond what is available in hybrids," Nerad said.

    "And this is fueling the entrepreneurial spirit. There are people who think they can make money at this."

    martin.zimmerman@latimes.com

  2. #2
    ERIC VFX vfx's Avatar
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    I liked the idea that Fisker would be designing the Whitestar.

    The La Times article was from Sept 8th. Given the lead time of magazine publishing that date is probably after the column written by Henrik Fisker in the latest issue of Luxury Exotics magazine. On page (16) he writes on design trends. In the last paragraph Henrik writes:

    "So in order to bring more cars to the road that will give me that sense of pride, I have embarked upon a top secret project with a brand new car company, building enviromentally friendly luxury cars. Hopefully I can tell you a bit more about it in my next column."

    If not for that LA times article, I would think "a brand new car company" would mean Tesla.

    I'm still hoping.

  3. #3
    mod squad TEG's Avatar
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    Fisker Karma





    * small gasoline motor to recharge the Li-Ion battery pack
    * (up to) 50 miles per charge before the ICE has to kick in
    * 0 to 60 in 6 seconds
    * 125+ MPH top speed
    * "Stealth Mode" (EV only?) and "Sport Mode" (keep the ICE running?)
    * Expected to be available Q4 2009
    Last edited by tonybelding; 2008-01-11 at 09:00 PM. Reason: fixed broken images
    Moderator - Roadster, and Future Cars forums

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    Oh no! I am feeling the overpowering urge to fill out that preorder form!

  5. #5

    This is WhiteStar

    The Fisker Karma is WhiteStar.

    Its specs, price point, and overall demeanor are very close to what I'd been led to envision for WhiteStar, or at least for WhiteStar reconfigured as a PHEV. But it goes beyond that. Even the shape of the car. . . If you look at the stance, and the curves, if you look at the lines of the fender swells even. . . It looks like a close relative of the Tesla Roadster. The nose and grill is completely different, but the rest of the car is basically the Roadster's big brother.

    It makes me once again wonder if Tesla contracted Fisker for design work on the WhiteStar -- then something didn't work out between the two companies, and Fisker ended up using the design for their own product. Maybe we'll never know, but simply looking at the car forces me to speculate about things like that.

    BTW, I'm also very concerned about the lack of WhiteStar info from Tesla. There's no indication that they've even made basic design decisions about it. What will the chassis be made of? Where will the battery be arranged in the vehicle? What will the body be made of? Will it be a BEV or PHEV or both?

    I'm not saying Tesla should reveal the answers to these questions. I'm just saying, somebody inside Tesla had darn well better know the answers to them by now.

  6. #6
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    I'll agree with you that the Fisker Karma most probably will hit all the same customers that would want the Whitestar, but there is/was one difference.

    The original Whitestar plans said the whitestar would be $50-65 and with a much longer EV range, as it was a pure BEV.
    For me personally I the $50k price of the Whitestar would be within realistic reach in a few years, but the $80-100 is simply too much. In many ways the $50 is too much for financial sanity

    Cobos

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    This is interesting - I just Googled for Fisker Karma and most sites have a mention that the images have been removed at the request of Fisker automotive.
    Mark Tomlinson
    "I am not a trouble maker; I'm a catalyst for change."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mt2 View Post
    This is interesting - I just Googled for Fisker Karma and most sites have a mention that the images have been removed at the request of Fisker automotive.
    The unveiling is scheduled for tomorrow. I expect those pictures were originally given out with the requirement that they only be posted after that time, but someone leaked them early.

  9. #9
    mod squad TEG's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cobos View Post
    For me personally I the $50k price of the Whitestar would be within realistic reach in a few years, but the $80-100 is simply too much. In many ways the $50 is too much for financial sanity
    I had mis-remembered the price of the Fisker, it is indeed quite a bit higher than the projections for WhiteStar.

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