The Karma’s Q DRIVE configuration consists of a small gasoline engine that turns the generator, which charges the lithium ion battery pack, powering the electric motor and turning the rear wheels. The vehicle will have an all electric range of 50 miles before the gasoline powered 4-cylinder engine generator kicks in. After this, the full range jumps up to over 350 miles. The Karma has regenerative braking that will help recharge the batteries, much like the Tesla Roadster and many modern electric vehicles. Patrons will also have the option to purchase a full-length solar roof that will help charge the car and provide cooling for the interior cabin while the car is parked. Fisker Automotive will even offer consumers an option to purchase a set of solar panels for their roofs or garages where they can generate electricity during the day to charge the car overnight.
Initial deliveries will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009, with annual production projected to reach 15,000 units. More info can be found at fiskerautomotive.com.
Fisker Automotive announced today that it is opening a new, 34,000-sq-ft Engineering and Development Center in Pontiac, Michigan. This is great news for the struggling automotive state that has a dearth of newly jobless, skilled automotive professionals. Fisker’s 34,000 square-foot location is expected to employ only around 200 workers, with 130 jobs already spoken for as of today. This announcement comes days after their legal victory over Tesla. Tesla Motors accused Fisker Automotive of stealing confidential design information and trade secrets while Fisker was contracted to help in designing Tesla’s future cars. This move to Michigan also comes not long after Tesla announced they would be closing down their Rochester Hills office near Detroit.
“The available talent, supplier base, and infrastructure in Michigan will help us reach our production goal,” said Fisker Automotive COO Bernhard Koehler. “While Fisker Automotive will continue to be headquartered in Irvine, California, the new facility will allow us the opportunity to collaborate with our Michigan supplier base and have everyone under one roof.”
The 200 engineers and designers will work on the Fisker Karma, the company’s first vehicle. The Karma is a plug-in hybrid that will travel 50 miles on electricity alone and have a maximum range of 350 miles, with a 0-60 mph time under 6 sec and and a top speed of 125 mph. The car will go on sale at the end of 2009 in North America and later in Europe. Fisker hopes to be building 15,000 cars annually by 2011. Estimated pricetag is around $80,000.
As much as I love the Fisker/Tesla slap fight going on right now, I don’t care to talk about it. Hopefully, this will be the start of a long, healthy competition between the two companies, not just a sue fest. And with Fisker optimistically anticipating production of about 15,000 Karmas a year at $80,000, we could have a battle on our hands. Tesla only expects to produce 2,000 Roadsters a year with its higher price tag of $100,000. However, the Fisker Karma will not have quite the performance, 0-60 in 6 seconds, compared to the Roadster’s 3.9. Interestingly, the Karma will have two driving modes, “Stealth Drive” and “Sport Drive”. The former will provide “relaxed and efficient driving” while the latter will unleash the cars power according to the company site .