Is the Fisker Karma realistic for 2009? (hybrid electric car)

Today was the first I’d heard of the Fisker Karma, a car which promises to be a sport sedan with a electric/gas hybrid drive similar to the Chevy Volt – that is, the car always runs on the electric motor, and a small gas engine operates as a generator to keep the lithium-ion battery pack charged. Unlike current hybrids such as the Prius, the gas engine never directly drives the wheels. You plug the car in overnight to charge the batteries, and trips of less than about 50 miles will run on battery power only, without the engine ever needing to fire up.

I’ve read a fair bit about the Tesla, Phoenix SUT, and some other electric cars, and I try to keep an eye out for news on the Volt and other green cars, but I’d never heard of the Karma before. After poking around today, I was initially inclined to dismiss it as vaporware, but then I read that they evidently have a prototype out on the track. Of course, there’s no telling what kind of powerplant the prototype has, but the fact that they have a running car of some kind is promising. Still, the company seems to have just come together in January 2007, and they’re saying they’re going to start delivery in December 2009. I’m skeptical.

Anybody think they’re going to hit the streets next year? Anybody have any information better than the speculation of auto blogs and the trumpeting of the manufacturer? Anybody share my opinion that the car, the interior especially, is a full-fledged eyesore? At $80 Grand, it’s about $60 Grand out of my price range, but it’d be cool if they build it (even with the godawful styling).

It looks like a running shoe…

You might also want to check out the



No Fisker enthusiasts out there?


Maybe they’re going to have a hard time selling those 15,000 cars they plan to sell in 2010.

$80k? Does anyone who has $80k love the planet enough to buy an experiment?

$40k and they might move a few.

Probably. Tesla has at least some people lined up to pay $100K for theirs.

That’s what Chevy says the Volt will be going for (their estimate went from about 30K to about 40K recently).

I doubt the Fisker Karma will reach production. The Tesla Roadster, with Google money behind it and celebrities clamoring to buy it, just went into production in March. Putting a car into production is more difficult by an order of magnitude than simply coming up with a prototype.

Add to that the fact that Tesla is suing Fisker for stolen trade secrets (Fisker did design work for Tesla before going off on his own), and the chances are not good for the Karma to come to market. Litigation does have a deleterious effect on young companies.

Now that Venture1 at . . . homina homina . . .