Positive Post of the Day: Fisker Brings Sanity to EREV Efficiency Ratings Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

GM set off something of an insanity bomb a few weeks back by claiming their Volt moonshot would get 230 mpg based on draft EPA testing standards. Nissan countered via Twitter, claiming that its forthcoming Leaf EV would get 367 mpg using the same test, and the age of EV efficiency madness was initiated. Needless to say, neither the Volt nor the Leaf can be directly tested to give an apples-to-apples comparison to internal combustion-powered vehicles, and this opening salvo seemed bent on removing plausibility from the EV efficiency equation. But sanity in EV efficiency has an unlikely new champion in luxo-EREV maker Fisker.

Rather than trotting out an implausible number based on the same draft standards used by GM and Nissan, Fisker went with Society of Automotive Engineers standards. The result? Fisker’s four-door Karma EREV sports sedan is rated at a thoroughly sane, altogether plausible (by comparison) 67 mpg.

That’s not a bad number—considering the Karma claims the equivalent of 403 hp and a 0-60 time of about six seconds. Even so, there’s a thick stack of issues with any EV efficiency rating system. The Karma’s performance and efficiency depend heavily on the mode selected (e.g., Sport or “Stealth”) and the zealotry of the driver’s right foot.

Still, Fisker made an important statement by eschewing the testing system used for the Volt’s 230 mpg claim. The Karma will avoid the plausibility gap that will surely engulf the Volt if final EPA ratings bring the Volt’s sticker rating far below the 230 mpg mark. [ED: what are the odds?] And if the Volt’s rating reflects the testing that the EPA will actually be using, the Karma could find its rating improving when it goes to market. As Fisker claims that the Karma’s drivetrain is said to be highly Volt-related, the Karma’s extra performance probably won’t cost it 150 mpg.

Most importantly, though, Fisker has drawn a line in the sand by ignoring the siren call of EV mpg inflation. For that alone we should be grateful.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • No_slushbox No_slushbox on Sep 08, 2009

    Interesting, according to the link the "generator" for the series hybrid Fisker is the 2 liter turbo direct injection GM Ecotec. It's good that someone is putting that amazing engine to work in something now that the mediocre-except-for-the-engine Solstice, Sky, Cobalt SS and HHR SS have been killed.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Sep 09, 2009

    Bad cop: Volt, Leaf. Good cop: Fisker. Has Tesla weighed in?

  • Eliyahu CVT needed for MPG. Outback is indeed the legacy of, err, the Legacy.
  • Gayneu I can comment on these. My wife always thought the Minis were "cute" so I bought her a used 2005 (non-S, 5 speed) for one of her "special" birthdays. She loved it and I kinda did too. Somehow a hole developed in the transmission case and the fluid drained out, ruining the car (too expensive to fix). A local mechanic bought it for $800.We then bought a used 2015 S (6 speed) which we still have today (80k miles). Her sister just bought a used S as well (also manual). It has been a dependable car but BMW-priced maintenance and premium gas hurts for sure. I think the earlier generation (like in the article) were better looking with cleaner lines. The 2015 S rides too stiff for me (Chicago roads) but is a hoot on smooth ones. It does seem to shift weird - its hard to describe but it shifts differently from every other manual I have driven. No matter how hard I try, so won't let go of her Mini.
  • Crown Seems like they cut some cylinders too.A three cylinder...where are they planning on selling that??
  • Slavuta "There’s also the problem of climate change, and the more intense weather that comes along with it"How could one even write something like this? We don't have more intense weather. We have better weather. When Earth started, it was a fiery ball. We don't know what weather was in 1700. And even if we know some of it in Europe, we don't know what was happening in Africa, South America, Oceania, etc. We have people living in places where they did not live before. We have news that report weather related events minutes later or during. This did not happen before. There is no evidence that we have an increase in intensity. I looked into historical records in the area where I live - there is not much movement at all between 1970 and now. And remember - none of the previous weather predictions have materialized.
  • VoGhost Very soon, every home will have a 240v outlet in the garage, which can function as your electric charger, just like a modern home has 120v electric outlets and light switches inside the house. This is where the market is going. You all would see that if you didn't have those oil soaked blinders on.