Fisker Du

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

After failing to sell his gas-guzzling BMW and Mercedes-based "coach building" shtick, former Aston designer Henry Fisker wants good Karma. So he's doing his bit by introducing a hybrid that will keep the cosmos and ecosystem in balance. His Karma "Q-Drive" plug-in hybrid will operate as a gas-electric hybrid ("Sport Drive") or travel 50 miles on lithium-ion batteries ("Stealth Drive"). According to Fisker MD Alan Niedzwiecki, the LiIon battery pack ain't no vaporware. He claims it's been tested for two years on a bench and one year in a car. And Fisker's Q-Drive hybrid system has been tested for four years. (Not surprisingly, Niedzwieck says the Fisker Karma doesn't shares any engineering with the Tesla Roadster.) Fisker plans to sell the Karma (somehow that doesn't sound right) for around $80K come 2009. Whether or not the new car fulfills all the promises, if this beast was any sexier they'd have to call it the Karma Sutra.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • Thecavanaughs Thecavanaughs on Jan 14, 2008

    "....they'd have to call it the Karma Sutra" Baaaaa- zing! Nice.

  • SpacemanSpiff SpacemanSpiff on Jan 14, 2008

    A friend of a friend with a Fisker has complained about a Mould problem with his car.. :-)

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Jan 14, 2008

    Click Here to go to the Fisker web site and see the car -- it looks a lot like a Bimmer shabatski: it is a large car 195 in, four door sedan. The stats are on the web site. Here is the WSJ article about the Fisker: Electric-Car Firms Get Star Investors by Norihiko Shirouzu and Rebecca Buckman in the Wall Street Journal [$$$$ite] on January 14, 2008 at Page A2: DETROIT -- The race to develop an electric car is heating up and drawing increasing interest from the same venture-capital investors who helped build Silicon Valley. The latest entrant is expected to be announced today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit when Fisker Automotive Inc. unveils an $80,000 battery-powered luxury car it aims to begin delivering in late 2009. The Fisker Karma, a so-called plug-in hybrid, can go 50 miles on electricity before a small gasoline engine kicks in to generate electricity to charge a lithium-ion battery pack on board. The company has backing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, perhaps Silicon Valley's best-known venture-capital firm and a backer of household tech names such as Netscape Communications, Inc. and Google Inc. ... Thanks to Kleiner's investment, "we have all the capital we need to move forward according to the plan," said Henrik Fisker, a Danish-born former BMW AG and Aston Martin designer and now chief executive of the company he helped set up last year. Palo Alto Investors, a venture-capital concern, invested in Fisker in an earlier round of fund raising. ... Mr. Fisker's vision is to sell 15,000 electric cars a year. Mr. Fisker said the Karma is environmentally responsible and capable of going 125 miles per hour, consistently. It can hit a speed of 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, equivalent to the performance of a gasoline-powered V8 sports sedan, he said. ... Silicon Valley money is backing an array of green-car projects that include little-known upstart companies such as Aptera Motors Inc. and Phoenix Motorcars Inc., both southern California companies. Tesla Motors Inc., the high-profile company that is close to shipping a $98,000 electric sports car, has raised $105 million from investors, including VantagePoint Venture Partners, Technology Partners, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. ... When his company first invested in Tesla two years ago, "I think people were really questioning, 'Would we ever have electric cars? Would they be viable?"' said Stephan Dolezalek, a managing director at VantagePoint Venture Partners. Now, he says, "it's no longer about will we, it's about when." ... Mr. Fisker believes his company is a couple of years ahead of bigger rivals because the design of the car has been finalized. "The car we're showing in Detroit is not your usual show car; it's actually a preview of the production car you can buy," Mr. Fisker said. ... Mr. Fisker wouldn't say what kind of lithium-ion battery the Karma will use, but he said safety concerns have all been "resolved."

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jan 15, 2008

    Terrific photo, Sajeev!