Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fisker Karma Hybrid Review

The Fisker Karma is a plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan that was produced by Fisker Automotive between 2011 and 2012. The cars were manufactured at Valmet Automotive in Finland. TheUnited States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated the Karma's combined city/highway fuel economy at 52 mpg-US(4.5 L/100 km; 62 mpg-imp) equivalent (MPG-e) in all-electric mode, and at 20 mpg-US (12 L/100 km; 24 mpg-imp) in gasoline-only mode. EPA's official all-electric range is 32 mi (51 km).Due to the very small cabin interior volume, the EPA rated the Fisker Karma as a subcompact.
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Hybrid Technology, led by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, has bid $55 million for Fisker Automotive's assets, just days after a bankruptcy judge in Delaware rejected Hybrid's plan to take over the failed electric-vehicle maker in a private sale.
Hybrid said in court papers Monday that it's offering $30 million in cash and would cancel $25 million in debt that Fisker owes Hybrid as its senior secured lender. Hybrid also promised that at least $5.5 million of the cash portion will go to Fisker's unsecured creditors if they switch to backing Hybrid instead of rival suitor Wanxiang Group as the so-called "stalking horse bidder" in the auction.
Production was suspended in November 2012 due to financial difficulties, with about 2,450 Karmas built since 2011. After furloughing its US workers in late March 2013, Fisker Automotive filed for bankruptcy in November 2013, after the U.S. Department of Energy auctioned its debt and sold it to Hybrid Technology LLC for US$25 million.
The Karma is a pure series hybrid, driven by a pair of 120 kW (161 hp) electric motors that receive power from a 20.1 kWh lithium ion battery supplied by A123 Systems and/or an engine powered generator. The battery pack runs down the center of the car, between the pairs of left-hand and right-hand seats, preventing a rear bench and seating four rather than five passengers. Once the battery is depleted, or when the driver presses the "Sport" mode button, the front-mounted 260-hp, 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine powers a generator that sends electricity directly to the drive motors. The engine is sourced from General Motors
The Karma's engine is mated with a generator to provide an electrical connection to the motors and also recharge the batteries, and as such the electric motors are the only mechanical driving force connected to the wheels. However, in all-electric mode, the Karma is around half as efficient as the Volt. The proprietary Q-Drive hybrid drive train is supplied by Quantum Technologies, which operates in a joint venture with Fisker Coachbuild known as Fisker Automotive. The Karma's curb weight is 5,300 lb (2,400 kg).
The Karma includes as standard a solar paneled roof manufactured by Asola Advanced and Automotive Solar Systems GmbH, a Quantum Technologies affiliate, to aid the cabin climate control system. The solar roof is capable of generating a half kilowatt-hour a day and was estimated to provide up to 4 to 5 miles (6.4–8.0 km) of additional range a week assuming continuously sunny days; however, the solar panels as delivered only recharge the 12-volt lead-acid accessory battery.  Additionally, Fisker will offer a set of solar panels for the garage/house which may charge the Karma without the benefit of conventional electrical sources (e.g. 'off the grid').
The base model features an 'eco-friendly interior', including salvaged/reclaimed lumber. The interior space is rated as subcompact by the EPA. Optional leather seating is available, but it will use much more of the cow hide than would customarily be found on luxury models; hides with scratches and other marks (which should not affect functionality) will be used.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official all-electric range for the Fisker Karma is 32 mi (51 km) under the agency's five-cycle tests using varying driving conditions and climate controls. EPA's estimated energy consumption is 65 kWh per 100 miles (1462 kJ/km). The total range with a full tank of gasoline and a fully charged battery is 230 miles (370 km). EPA's official rating for combined city/highway fuel economy in all-electric mode is 52 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPG-e) (4.5 L gasoline equivalent/100 km; 62 mpg-imp gasoline equivalent). The EPA rating in gasoline-only mode is 20 mpg-US (12 L/100 km; 24 mpg-imp). Regarding EPA's rating Henrik Fisker, CEO and co-founder of Fisker Automotive commented that "...as with all electric vehicles, range varies greatly on the conditions of the road and how you drive the car. We firmly believe that most owners will get up to 50 miles of driving range on a single charge."
The German Technical Inspection Association (TÜV) found through independent tests that the Fisker Karma has an all-electric range of 83 km (52 mi) in stealth mode. TÜV found that in charge-sustaining sport mode the Karma achieves a fuel economy of 26 mpg (9.2 l/100 km). The combined fuel economy was rated at 112 MPG-e (2.1 l/100 km equivalent) and the emissions level is 51 g/km CO2