Fisker has never recieved quite the fanfare of Tesla, but their novel approach to green transportation should be turning some heads. After years of Fisker Karma delays, satirized by the EVCast, we might finally start seeing some of these luxury plug-in hybrids rolling around eco-chic areas in the US. Deliveries have begun in the US in late 2011, and hopefully they will pick up in 2012.
EVer stands for “electric vehicle extended range,” meaning the vehicle can drive completely electric until it runs out of juice and needs to be recharged by the on-board gasoline powered generator. Fisker’s EVer technology uses a state-of-the-art Nanophosphate Lithium-ion Battery pack to power two electric motors at the rear wheels. The EPA rated all-electric range for the Fisker Karma at 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. They found that a full tank of gas and battery would get about 230 miles. Fisker is still confident the vehicle will get 50 miles electric under optimal conditions. An independent German association actually found the car did indeed get 50 miles in “stealth” mode, basically the energy efficient setting.
The battery is a 22 kWh lithium ion unit supplied by A123 Technologies. When the battery get low, it is replenished by a 175 kW generator, turned by a 2.2 L gasoline engine. The solar roof is actually capable of generating a half kilowatt-hour a day, although this is naturally susceptible to be inconsistent. Some estimate the roof can provide up to 4 to 5 miles (6.4–8.0 km) of additional range a week assuming continuously sunny days.
The Fisker Karma can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph. The dual electric motors put about 1000 lbs/ft of torque at the wheels, which is instantly available at 0 RPM. The 260 HP 4-cylinder direct injection engine that spools the generator is a surprisingly powerful motor only used for electricity generation.
Charge time can be anywhere from 6-14 hours, which varies with battery’s remaining charge capacity and whether 110v, 220v or 240v current is used.
- The Karma’s wood trim is 100% sustainably sourced from Fallen, Sunken and Rescued Wood to ensure that no live growth is ever used.
- Xenon headlights are standard as well as low energy LED lights everywhere else on the vehicle.
- Seating foam is fashioned from soy-based bio fiber and the carpet backing is created from recycled post-consumer materials.
- Optional leather is sourced form a closed loop manufacturing plant where 85% of the hide is humanely used.
- Water based Diamond Dust paint features a recycled glass flake mixture that utilizes 35-55% recycled glass while releasing zero volatile organic compounds into the environment. The paint also features an invisible reflective infrared layer to help cool the interior during hot weather.
As of December 2011, pricing in the U.S. starts at US$102,000 for the basic model, and US$116,000 for the high-end model.
Here is a Road&Track Review of the Fisker Karma EVer:
For more information, check out the Fisker site.