by Zach McDonald | HybridCars.com
After a 2012 rife with bad news, 2013 could offer a new beginning for Fisker. Recent news reports indicate that the company is currently the object of a bidding contest between two Chinese car giants capable of investing the money necessary to bring its second car, the Fisker Atlantic to market.
In the meantime, CEO Henrik Fisker is focused on the carmaker’s first product, the Fisker Karma, which has been out of production for more than seven months after deals with its assembler Valmet Automotive and battery supplier A123 systems went sour. In the case of A123, Fisker was unfortunate enough to have its supplier go bankrupt even as orders for the car remain unfilled.
A123 Systems was recently acquired by another Chinese company, Wanxiang Group, which is currently in talks with Fisker to resume supply of the Karma’s battery pack. The carmaker recently said that production will resume on the Karma “fairly soon.”
Perhaps in anticipation of that event, Mr. Fisker has been out promoting the Karma of late, making appearances at auto shows and sitting down with Autoblog Green for an extended interview. In it, Fisker confirms that his company has sold “close to 2,000 cars” to date, a number that he admits is a disappointment under the company’s old business plan but healthy under its current outlook.
“I have to say honestly, I felt like the first six months of , every time you saw one problem, there was another one coming. Then came the Presidential debates. It just didn’t stop,” Fisker told Autoblog. Fisker said his company has adjusted its model to reflect a slower timetable for its next vehicle, and is now focused on building its brand through the Karma
For Fisker, part of that effort involves personally connecting with. “If you own a Mercedes, you can’t go have dinner with Mr. Benz, because he isn’t around any more,” Fisker said. “But you can have dinner with Henrik, maybe, at some special events we’re doing. Even with our current customers, because we see them as brand ambassadors, I have had dinner or breakfast with at least 500 of them.”
Moving forward, Fisker said he likes his company’s chances. “I think we have a big advantage that our vehicles are already ready for some of the things that are happening in the future, whether that’s higher taxes in Europe on CO2 emissions, whether it’s 2025 fuel economy standards–we are the only luxury car with a gasoline engine that fulfills these standards.”
It remains to be seen when Fisker’s real “make or break” car, the Atlantic, will finally be released—or where it will be produced. Still, Fisker has been on its new path for more than a year and a half now, and as the company patiently waits for the investment it needs to move forward with the Atlantic it has had the time to restructure and adjust its goals. Once Karma production finally does restart, the central goal will be to expand its sales markets and grow the list of 2,000-some “ambassadors” Fisker has so far attracted.
Nearly 50 Southern California-area Fisker Karma owners drove their cars to Santa Monica Sunday to share their excitement and appreciation for the award winning Electric Vehicle with extended range (EVer).
Hosted by Fisker Santa Monica, 48 of the very first Karma owners were treated to brunch and open conversation with Executive Chairman Henrik Fisker at the exclusive Jonathan Club Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Fisker executives Tony Posawatz, CEO, and Alex Klatt, Vice President of Global Design, also attended.
Brunch was followed by a scenic drive on the Pacific Coast Highway and through town to the showroom on Santa Monica Boulevard, where owners were treated to a close up look at a design prototype of Fisker Automotive’s next car, the Fisker Atlantic.
With more than 100 Karmas sold in less than 10 months, Fisker Santa Monica is one of the highest volume Fisker retailers in the world. Fisker’s global network of more than 70 retailers has sold more than 1,500 Karmas since the car went on sale in December 2011.
“I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to see how excited Karma owners get about their cars and the future of this company,” Henrik Fisker said. “I’ve been in the business a long time and truly have never seen anything like it. It was fantastic to watch all those Karmas make their way through town, knowing they weren’t using a drop of gas.”
Fisker Santa Monica principal Mike Sullivan said, “It was so great for me to show my appreciation for Fisker owners who understand you don’t have to compromise to drive more responsibly. Driving down San Vicente Blvd in a parade of 48 Fiskers in all-electric Stealth mode showed everyone a great example of the automotive future that we are hoping to build together.”
by Zach McDonald: HybridCars.com
Fisker announced this week it had completed a successful round of fundraising worth more than $100 million dollars, bringing total financing for the company to more than $1.2 billion. The new influx of private capital was necessary for the carmaker to move forward with its second model, the Atlantic sedan, which will reportedly be priced between $50,000 and $60,000.
Following a path similar to that of Tesla, Fisker hopes to work its way toward building increasingly affordable cars as its production volumes increase. Currently, it’s unknown where the Atlantic will be built or where the remaining money to begin production will come from.
As recently as last year, the carmaker had planned to use the bulk of its $528 million Department of Energy loan to outfit a former GM factory in Delaware and begin production on the Atlantic. However, the DOE withheld $359 million of that loan money after Fisker failed to meet some of the loan’s requirements.
Though the setback delayed the release of the Atlantic somewhat, Fisker has spent the better part of the last year focused on the rollout of its current model, the Karma sports sedan. In addition, the carmaker garnered praise this summer for the hiring of its new CEO, Tony Posawatz, the former GM executive responsible for overseeing the Volt program.
Posawatz said recently that the company would announce production details for the Atlantic in December—including a timeline and manufacturing site. The company has also said that the original proposed Delaware site remains in consideration. “The intent and plan is to utilize that Delaware facility and build cars there in the future,” Posawatz said, as reported by Bloomberg.
The CEO also said his company resolved its DOE loan requirement issues and hopes to draw the remaining $359 million of the loan. The carmaker is currently exploring partnerships with other OEMs as it seeks to work toward an IPO stock offering down the line.
Fisker Automotive, the leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended-range (EVer™), today announced that the company’s flagship Karma sedan already surpasses its 2025 fuel economy target under Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards – recently finalized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
“It’s a testament to the disruptive power of technology that a premium luxury sedan like the 2012 Fisker Karma beats its fuel economy target for 2025 – today,” said Fisker CEO Tony Posawatz. “We applaud NHTSA and the Environmental Protection Agency for their efforts to increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With the Karma, we have brought to market the technology that these regulations are designed to encourage, and we’re pointing the way for the rest of the industry.”
On August 28, NHTSA and EPA finalized fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for model years 2017 through 2025. The rule sets an average fuel economy target for an automaker’s entire fleet of new vehicles, based on the footprint of each individual model in the fleet. For a vehicle of the Karma’s size, the fuel economy target for 2025 is 45.6 MPG. Current NHTSA methodology – notably different than the EPA label – assumes the Karma will drive half its miles on gasoline and half on electricity and takes into account the energy consumption of both, giving the Karma an equivalent fuel economy of 47.3 MPG.
“The Karma is way ahead of the curve, and we are pleased that these fuel economy standards demonstrate that,” said Henrik Fisker, Executive Chairman. “Regulations must make assumptions about how a car is driven on average, but the appeal of the Karma is that the driver can decide when to drive on electricity and when to drive on gas. The car’s performance in the real world is what matters most – and customer feedback so far suggests Karma owners are outperforming the assumptions behind the regulations.
On a recent conference call, Karma owners were asked to report their fuel economy. The results were impressive: the group of over 30 respondents averaged 150 MPG. One customer reported achieving 57 MPG for the previous 5,500 miles of driving, which included weekend trips of over 300 miles, while another averaged over 100 MPG with 5,000 miles on the odometer. One owner reported consuming only 20 gallons of gasoline over the last 3,500 miles – for an average of 175 MPG – and many others reported average fuel economies of well over 200 MPG.
“This is just a small sample of Karma owners, but they demonstrate what we’ve said all along – the Karma’s fuel economy performance depends on how you use it,” said Henrik Fisker. “The Karma’s technology puts the freedom in drivers’ hands. We’re thrilled to see from these early reports that Karma customers are relying predominantly on the electric range – plugging in at home and maximizing their zero emission driving – but not compromising on their driving habits.”
Fisker Nederland, Fisker Automotive’s most successful European retailer with more than 130 Karmas sold since January 2012, organized a very special event on Sunday, September 2 at the Floriade Horticultural World Expo in Venlo, Netherlands, where 60 240-volt charge points were temporarily installed for the occasion. The Floraide Horticultural World Expo stands for innovation and the sustainable relationship between man and nature, educating the public how to return to nature and how to learn from it.
At the event, Fisker Automotive was a part of two new world records for electric vehicles. Fisker is now first to hold the world record for Highest Number of Single-Brand Electric Vehicles to be Charged Simultaneously, with 45 owners of its Karma Electric Vehicle with extended range (EVerTM) having their cars charged at the same time. Those 45 owners also helped break the world record for Highest Number of Mixed-Brand Electric Vehicles to be Charged Simultaneously. That record now stands at 50 where the previous record was 43, set in May of this year. Both records were confirmed by Stichting E-Laad, the Dutch foundation for the promotion of electric driving.
The successful attempt was part of the first „Good Karma Day‟ for Dutch Fisker Karma owners, which was part charity event — for every Karma sold by Fisker Nederland a donation was made to the Eugène Janssen Foundation to support African children living in dire circumstances – and part social gathering.
”We are excited that as an American car company we have had so many European Karma owners make this world-record attempt a success,” said Bernhard Koehler, Fisker Automotive co-founder. ”They have helped make history and show that electric vehicles with extended range are the future.”
The gathering of so many Fisker Karmas was a sight to see. Watch the following video for a feel of the event:
As an advanced high-performance hybrid, the Fisker Karma uses two fuel sources, electricity, from the state-of-the-art lithium-ion high voltage battery, and gasoline, to run the internal combustion engine that generates the electrical energy needed to charge the battery and to propel the vehicle.
Watch the following video to find out more about the charging and fueling process for your Fisker Karma:
The Fisker Karma’s remote keyless entry fob is your gateway to pure driving passion. By manipulating the three buttons found on the key fob, you can activate a number of vehicle features. Watch the following video for more details:
The Fisker Karma offers a clean, classic, and uncluttered design. Most vehicle settings are configured within the Command Center touch screen. There are other features that are configured using buttons found outside the Command Center but contained within the instrument panel. Watch the video below to find out more about these functions:
The instrumentation found in the Fisker Karma mirrors classic heirloom automotive designs and the quality of fine Swiss time pieces. Watch the video to find out more about the inspiration behind the designs.
Using the Fisker Karma climate control system is simple. There are only three settings that enable you to fine-tune the interior comfort of your Karma.
The following video reviews the Climate Control System of the Karma: