The Chevy Volt’s best news in ages broke yesterday when GreenCarReports, er, reported that the Fisker Karma had received EPA approval at 32 miles of EV range, and 20 MPG (combined) thereafter. Moreover, the MPGE (the “e” is for “equivalent”) rating of 52 on electric power is nearly half the Volt’s 94 MPGE rating, suggesting that the Karma is not the most efficient car even in EV mode. And, at nearly 5,600 lbs (per evo.co.uk), you don’t have to look far to find out why. But if you ask Fisker, the problem isn’t the car… the problem is those darn EPA numbers, which you should probably just ignore anyway. After all, nobody drives less efficiently than their car’s EPA numbers, right?
Says CEO Heinrik Fisker
We firmly believe that most owners will get up to 50 miles of driving range on a single charge and will use our electric-only mode most of the time they drive the car
Unless they keep the car in Sport Mode (which boosts acceleration by 25%, taking 0-60 times from 7.9 to 5.9 seconds), thereby making it “sufficiently potent to avoid damnation as a slug” (per C&D’s Google-topping review). Which, given the “about a hundred grand” price tag, seems like a reasonable expectation. But even if the Karma weren’t fast or fun, it might have a chance by making green cars sexy… but this doesn’t seem like much of a “green car.” Nor will it, when you’re showing off ala Ashton Kutcher and your range extending engine roars to life, mid-eco-boast.
And in the meantime, Fisker has been delivering vehicles to at least one celebrity client before EPA confirmation even arrived… which is an interesting strategy. Fisker also raffled off the first UK Karma, despite having not yet passed emissions in Europe (and possibly having a problem with start-up emissions, per autoblog.nl) But again, Fisker is running on hot, green air rather than facts and test results, simply claiming the Karma
is the only luxury sedan in the world that meets future fuel consumption and emission requirements, making it suitable for any international city.
Sorry, but 52 MPGE for 32 miles and 20 MPG thereafter is the ultimate in future-proof technology… especially when the (arguably overpriced itself) Chevy Volt does better at less than half the price. Might the Department of Energy be rethinking its $528.7m loan to Fisker right about now?