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.”
Fisker Automotive unveiled its all-new model, the Atlantic sedan. This is the latest model in the company’s expanding line up of extended-range luxury electric cars.
Revealed as a design prototype at a special VIP preview event the night before the New York Auto Show press days begin, the Fisker Atlantic design prototype is a luxury four-door sporting sedan with a practical interior. It is aimed at young families who want to drive an impactful, high-end vehicle while making a positive statement about responsibilities – both in terms of their commitment to sustainability and the practicalities of everyday life.
The Atlantic uses the latest second generation EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range) technology. It will offer all the benefits of electric drive while at the same time eliminating the “range anxiety” experienced with an all-electric powertrain.
Like the Karma sedan, the Fisker Atlantic is a plug-in series hybrid vehicle that allows drivers to switch manually or automatically between electric and gasoline driving modes and sustain the charge of its lithium ion batteries on the move.
Its four-cylinder gasoline engine, which acts as a generator and is not mechanically connected to the wheels, is tuned to offer maximum economy and high torque. This Atlantic EVer powertrain will offer highly competitive performance for a car in its class. The standard powertrain will be configured for rear-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive version will be offered as an option.
The Atlantic design prototype’s glass roof shows off a ridged ‘spider’ structure. This incredibly strong construction also allows the Atlantic to offer a remarkable amount of rear headroom for a car with its sleek, coupe-like stance. This high-tech approach fulfills and surpasses all current and future rollover safety and crash-test requirements worldwide. The Fisker Atlantic’s long wheelbase also affords extra legroom for rear passengers and more space in the trunk.
The unique, exciting styling of the Atlantic retains and progresses Fisker’s signature design DNA. Henrik Fisker and his design team set out to create the most beautiful and dramatic vehicle in its class. Much of the design was inspired by nature, for example, the dynamic side theme, with strong sculptural lines that optically cross the center and over the rear wheels of the car. This gives a sense of power – replicating the stance of a wild tiger ready to pounce.
Further important design details to note include an evolution of the Fisker Karma signature grille, with a wider sculptured line defining the power dome on the hood. Strong creases emerge from the inside of the headlamps and continue back over the hood to elongate the car. The sharp headlights themselves give an ‘eagle eye’ with a strength of strong character not seen on a production car before. These touches allow the Atlantic to create a greater rear-view mirror presence than any other vehicle in its class.
Additionally, the rear door handles have been elegantly integrated in the rear C-pillars, to continue the sense and look of a sporting coupe without losing the practicality of a four-door sedan. The extremely slim LED tail lamps use the latest technology allowing them to split into two parts to offer a wider aperture for the trunk opening. The rear end of the car is clean and aerodynamically shaped, with a sharp spoiler lip on the trunk that runs down over the side of the car to enhance aerodynamic performance.
Overall, the Fisker Atlantic’s dimensions are comparable to those of an Audi A5. It has been engineered inside and out to offer a dynamic yet compact feel on the road.
“We are exceptionally proud of the Atlantic design prototype, and believe we have created another groundbreaking car that looks and will drive like nothing else on the road in this class,” said Henrik Fisker, co-founder, Executive Chairman, and Design Director of Fisker Automotive.
“Fisker Automotive is transitioning from a start-up automaker to a fully-fledged mainstream car manufacturer and the Atlantic is a crucial milestone in that process,” said Tom LaSorda, CEO Fisker Automotive. “We have a long way to go, but in the near future Fisker intends to deliver this exceptional American-designed, engineered, and manufactured vehicle to showrooms worldwide.”
“I’m confident the Fisker Atlantic will inspire people and win the brand many new customers who may not have considered an EVer powered vehicle like this before.”
More details on the Fisker Atlantic, including statistics, prices and an on-sale date will be given closer to the launch of the production car.
In the global car business, the forces of homogenization (fuel economy and crash tests, aerodynamics, limited supplier base, materials costs) are almost irresistible. And this is particularly so in the premium luxury segment. That’s right, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Lexus have great full-size sedans and four-door coupes, but they are for the most part, interchangeable.
Let us introduce you to the world’s most interesting car. Every square inch of the Fisker Karma underscores clarity and design intent and vested individuality and a scorn for convention. Which is to say that the Karma is unlike any other car. This is a car so far outside the mainstream that it was clearly born out of a grand vision.
That grand vision, and the confidence to make it a reality, belongs to Henrik Fisher, ex-Ford and -BMW designer (Aston Martin D89, BMW Z8), who with former BMW executive Bernard Koehler started Fisker Automotive in Anaheim, California in 2007. Their thesis was simple: Money is easily bored and there are sufficient numbers of carbon-conscious high-end consumers to support a luxury-EV company.
So what makes the Karma so interesting? Where do we begin. How about the gearshift, comprised of a symmetrically reflecting dihedral group of acrylic switches in a pentagonal projection in the center console. You don’t see that every day. The EcoSport package uses veneer from rare hardwoods, salvaged from the bottom of Lake Michigan where they sank while being floated down from the logging camps a century ago. The leather is Bridge of Weir Low Carbon Leather, sourced from ranchers who observe the Five Freedoms of animal welfare. The Lucite panels (100% recycled, of course) in the doors and console have magnolia leaves embedded in them. These many textures provide something the luxury car market sorely lacks: cars with a definitive narrative. We tell stories about our cars because they tell stories about us.
To alert pedestrians of its presence, the Karma emits a ghostly, electronic thrum, almost a “Tron-like” sound, as engineers call it, that reverberates from loudspeakers concealed in the front and rear bumpers. The rear speakers are located behind chrome alloy diamonds where one would expect to find the exhaust pipes. So where are the exhaust pipes? The turbocharged 2.0-liter, 260 horsepower four cylinder engine/generator under the hood actually exhausts through small ports behind the front wheels.
In all electric Stealth mode–with a full charge, a range between 32 miles (according to EPA) and 50 miles (according to Fisker)–the Karma accelerates to 60 in 7.9 seconds on its leisurely way to a 95-mph top speed. Pull the left-hand paddle behind the steering wheel and the car goes in to Sport mode, bringing the output of the battery (20 kWh/180kW max discharge) and the generator (175 kWh) online to energize the two 201-hp electric motors in the rear. In Sport, the car hits 60 in 6.3 seconds which is a mere half second slower than the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid.
Overall, the Karma is a fascinating and compelling automobile, an arty dreadnought of a car that gets an honest 52 mpg-e (or better, says Fisker) and, for most drivers on most days, uses zero gas. Will the Karma save the planet? Maybe, may be not, but the world is definitely a more interesting place for it.
+ KARMA CONTINUES TO WIN AWARDS
Henrik Fisker, CEO, and executive design director, says he is “happy, humbled and very proud” of the number of international awards the Karma has continued to receive in its debut sales year. In recent weeks, this has included Top Gear’s Luxury Car of the Year, Automobile’s Design of the Year Award, listing in TIME Magazine’s Top 50 Innovations of 2012, a Global Green Design Award, and noted Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte named the Karma their Most Stylish Car of 2012. Commenting on the success, Henrik Fisker said, “We have always had a great deal of faith in the appeal of the cars we create, but to have that recognized by critics so early on in the Karma’s lifespan is really fantastic.”
+ WIND TURBINE CHARGES KARMA AT ILLINOIS ECO RESTAURANT
Savvy Karma owners eating out at The Great Escape restaurant in Shiller Park, Illinois, have been able to charge-up their luxury plug-in hybrids for free and with zero environmental impact, after the restaurant fitted EV charging stations to a giant wind turbine. Keen to do their bit for the environment and to reduce dependence of foreign oil, the restaurant owners erected the 112-foot wind turbine in 2009, providing well over 50-70 percent of their energy needs in a sustainable way – and leaving plenty of energy over to charge up a few Karmas during lunchtime.
+ FISKER DOES DEALERSHIPS DIFFERENTLY
Fisker dealerships are emerging worldwide, with 45 already up and running in the US alone. In keeping with Fisker Automotive’s philosophy of utilizing existing resources wherever possible, the company has tried to avoid building new facilities from the ground up. Instead, Fisker is recycling previously occupied car showrooms and transforming them into new environmentally friendly ones with showrooms furnished with environmentally responsible furniture. This means using sustainable materials in construction, such as reclaimed wood flooring and color and materials containing glass and reclaimed wood veneers. Technology tables with touch-screen functionality allow consumers to configure and order their
Karma while cutting out the use of traditional paper sales materials. Fisker retailers are also installing the first ever solar-powered dealership signs, designed specifically for Fisker Automotive, which contain recycled components, are low maintenance and operate on cloudy days with less than two amps of power. These signs reflect the overall mission of Fisker Automotive, which is Uncompromised Responsible Luxury.
By Jim Motavalli HybridCars.com
Inductive EV charging—look, ma, no wires!—is gaining momentum, with Daimler testing concepts for the new battery version of the B-Class Mercedes and Nissan actively contemplating making it an option on the 2014 LEAF. Wireless charging leader Evatran will sell wireless kits for the LEAF and Chevy Volt next year, and it’s even hooking up with Sears Home Services to bring its Plugless Power to the masses.
The basic technology is familiar from wireless phone charging and the electric toothbrush. There are a few basic obstacles to creating larger versions for cars: high cost; the 10 percent average energy loss today when transferring power from a floor-mounted transmitter to a car-based receiver; and a start-from-scratch regulatory climate. But there’s no question that wireless charging, which creates a magnetic field to pass an electric charge from one coil to another, is on the ascendancy. It certainly addresses anxiety over having to learn a new way to fill your car up with energy—all you have to do is park, and these automated systems will do the rest for you.
Technology on the Move
It’s far too early to tell if wireless technology will eventually triumph over the wall-mounted home charging system, and no automakers have formally adopted it. “All we have done is shown this technology,” says Nissan’s Steve Oldham. “We haven’t confirmed anything. The stuff that is out there is speculation.” But Popular Mechanics claims that wireless will be an add-on for the luxury Infiniti version of the LEAF in 2014. The Rolls-Royce 102 EX Phantom, which I recently test drove in New York, is also set up to use a wireless charger from HaloIPT.
In the system that Nissan demonstrated, drivers simply align their vehicle over an inductive charging mat. A dashboard-based navigation system uses sensors to guide the rear wheels into place. The touchscreen hosts buttons to start and stop a charging session.
Daimler has teamed up with Conductix-Wampfler on plug-free charging for the Mercedes E-Cell. According to Conductix, one big hurdle is the need for exact alignment between the charger and the vehicle. The signal can travel only six inches or so, so the driver is likely to need an automatic parking system to ensure a good lock-in.
Major auto supplier Delphi and wireless leader WiTricity have their own system under development, using technology invented at MIT. Randy Sumner, a spokesman for Delphi Packard Electrical/Electronic Architecture, told me that automakers have shown considerable interest in wireless charging, which could accompany the second-generation EVs coming out in the 2014-2015 time frame.
Priced Like Navigation?
Wireless chargers have definitely gotten smaller and more efficient. Dave Schatz of WiTricity told me he expects consumer systems to eventually cost no more than car-based GPS navigation. Evatran’s Plugless Power floor-based unit is now the size of a small hubcap, with up to 97 percent efficiency between the charger and the car. It’s also more forgiving of poor alignment. Evatran is testing the system on a fleet of a dozen Chevy Volts. But it’s still far too expensive, at $5,000 for an all-in system in 2012.
The General Electric wall-mount WattStation is now available at Amazon.com for $1,099 (none used yet), so Evatran’s Sears play makes sense. According to co-founder Rebecca Hough, Evatran will make its wireless hardware kit (for the Volt and LEAF) available in 2012 for approximately $2,500, with installation (unpriced so far) extra. The basic installation is for people who are lucky enough to have dedicated 240-volt lines in their garages; the standard install includes that line.
Some regulatory and safety issues have yet to be worked out. Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) are set to introduce standards for wireless in the second quarter of next year (fast for SAE), and waiting for that has hindered plans for commercial and public wireless charging. Obviously, you’d want this at Starbucks and the big-box stores, but companies aren’t likely to go ahead without the standards in place.
The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) issues standards for the strengths of magnetic fields, and Hough says that Evatran has no trouble meeting them. She also says that wireless will incorporate many of the safety provisions built into SAE’s J1772 standard, including safety interconnects and shutoffs.
By the way, claims for inductive charging are somewhat confusing, because there’s a difference between the efficiency measured charger-to-car and the overall system. Evatran boasts an only three percent communications loss, but the overall system is currently at 91 percent. Company engineers think that 93 or 94 percent system efficiency is doable relatively soon, but going beyond 95 percent is a long-term prospect. Would we be happy with a gas station that spilled five percent of the gas on the ground?
John Gartner, a senior analyst at Pike Research, says that widespread will take years to roll out. “It’s of interest to most top automakers, many of which have internal programs in development. The consumer market is still years away. There’s still no common SAE standard, and you don’t want vehicles tied to charging docks, and the cost ($500 per car) is too steep to include on vehicles that aren’t going to use it all of the time. The technologies are all pretty different, so unlike cabled charging, some companies would be left out of any standard that is eventually passed. Qualcomm surprisingly is going after the market in a big way with its recent acquisition of HaloIPT.”
Still, wireless is probably here to stay, but it will take time to develop. “Pike Research sees the market growing slowly from 2013 ($26 million globally) to $233 million globally by 2017,” Gartner said. “Fleets that can share charging docks are the mostly likely early adopters.”
The bottom line here is that inductive charging, which appeared to be abandoned from the last generation of EVs, is now looking more and more practical as a long-term solution. Even if wireless does eventually triumph, however, wired charging is still likely to dominate the early EV years simply because the units will be in place and working. But there’s no reason they can’t happily co-exist.
According to independent testing by the Technischer Ueberwachungs Verein (TUV), Europe’s recognized automotive certification agency, the Fisker Karma Vehicle with extended range achieves 112 mpg (2.1 L/100km) combined fuel economy and emits just 51 g/km CO2. TUV tests also validated the Karma’s all-electric range at 51.6 miles (83 km.)
In separate testing, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rated the Karma a 10 out of 10 for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions, while the California Air Resource Board (CARB) recently offered its certification, making the Karma emissions compliant in all 50 states.
With 400 horsepower, the Karma is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.1 seconds and is the most efficient, lowest emission automobile available despite its size, performance, and design. All this is achievable due to the Karma’s cutting-edge EVer™ (Electric Vehicle extended range) powertrain technology, which combines the zero-emissions and efficiency of electric drive with the range and freedom of petrol-powered cars.
Unlike pure electric vehicles, the Karma can travel long distances without range anxiety or long recharge times. And as a series plug-in hybrid, the Karma gives drivers the ability to run emission free on-demand. While the Karma can run on all-electric power in Stealth mode for 51.6 miles, it has a total range of up to 300 miles (483 km) before a stop for gas or recharge is required. When driven in charge-sustaining Sport mode, the Karma achieves 26 mpg (9.2 L/100 km) combined fuel economy in TUV tests, the best of any full size, US-market luxury car.
“We are naturally very pleased with the TUV results, which show we have delivered better than our anticipated fuel efficiency figures,” said CEO and co-founder Henrik Fisker. “We believe the Karma is a car well-suited to the lifestyles of many people, and these results only reinforce that position.”
|CO2||58 g/km||47 g/km||51 g/km|
|Fuel Consumption||98 mpg(2.4 L/100 km)||118 mpg(2.0 L/100 km)||112 mpg(2.1 L/100 km)|
|Electric Range||51.6 mi(83 km)|
The Fisker Karma has achieved 83 km/51.6 miles running in silence on electric-only mode during independent fuel efficiency tests carried out by Europe’s regulatory body, the Technischer Ueberwachungs Verein (TUV).
Founded in 1871, TÜV Rheinland is a global leader in independent testing, inspection, certification, and consulting services. The company inspects technical equipment, products and services; oversees projects; and helps to shape processes for U.S. companies seeking entry to worldwide markets.
The TUV have carried out the most thorough tests yet of the Karma’s real-world urban performance. This is an independent process that measures every element of the Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid’s performance.
“We are delighted that the TUV has confirmed that most owners will achieve a 50 mile range running purely on electric during their daily commute,” said Fisker Automotive CEO and co-founder Henrik Fisker.
The Karma has already been awarded the highest possible score of 10 out of 10 for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions on its label from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
LAcarGUY was well represented at the 6th Alt Car Show, which took place at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on September 30 and October 1, with vehicles from 4 of our dealerships. Inside the display area the new FISKER KARMA was featured and ended up being the hit of the show. Toyota Santa Monica did have the Prius V available for test drives during the well-attended weekend. Also available for test drives were the new CT 200h and the HS250h from Lexus Santa Monica as well as the new redesigned 2012 Passat TDI and the VW Golf TDI from Volkswagen Santa Monica. There was never a lull for test drives throughout the entire two days. Toyota future vehicles were also on display, with the 2012 RAV EV and Prius PHV receiving plenty of attention!
What kind of car does an internet billionaire, living in a house on the beach in Malibu drive? A Fisker Karma of course! On tonights Two And A Half Men, Ashton Kutcher‘s character Walden Schmidt will be driving the car during the show, and the Fisker Karma will be seen all year on the show as well!
With Two And A Half Men being one of the most watched comedies on television, the Fisker Karma will be exposed to an even larger audience, more people will get to see what all the hype is about with the Karma. The Karma is much more than just a car, it is art, it is environmental, it is the future.
A stunning new version of the Fisker Karma was turning heads at Fisker Automotive’s booth at the Frankfurt Autoshow. The brand new Fisker Surf delivers on Fisker’s promise of Pure Driving Passion and Uncompromised Responsible Luxury.
The new Fisker Surf is the world’s first electric luxury/sports automobile for an active and eco-friendly lifestyle. The Fisker Surf builds on the success of the ground-breaking Karma Electric Vehicle with extended range (EVer™). Along with its own independent, spirited attitude, it brings additional, flexible load-carrying capacity. The Fisker Surf combines performance, luxury, style, utility, and economy with an enduring concern for the sustainable use of resources and respect for the environment. The Surf is Fisker’s version of a crossover between the sports car and the station wagon. The addition of the Surf exemplifies how Fisker is expanding its Karma platform rapidly with models that create a new market niche.
“The Surf is a first-of-its-kind eco-friendly lifestyle vehicle that offers space, performance, and luxury design for people who live an active, environmentally conscious lifestyle and like to drive beautiful cars,” Henrik Fisker, CEO/Executive Design Director, Fisker Automotive.
Fisker Automotive also announced its partnership with BMW who will now cover the supply of engines and other components for future Fisker models. BMW will supply a four-cylinder turbocharged engine for the next generation of Fisker cars, code named ‘Project Nina,’ which are scheduled to go into production at the re-commissioned GM plant in Wilmington, Delaware. Production will begin by the end of 2012 and cars will hit showrooms globally in 2013. The first Project Nina production will be a mid-sized premium sedan that will utilize Fisker’s EVer™ technology to deliver on Fisker’s corporate vision of Uncompromised Responsible Luxury.
According to Henrik Fisker, “The BMW engine was an obvious choice for us, as BMW is known for producing the best and most fuel efficient gasoline engines in the world. We are very pleased to have signed the agreement with BMW.”
In addition to growing its fleet of vehicle models, Fisker Automotive is proud to announce its RESERVE customizable options program developed in collaboration with Claus Ettensberger Corporation (CEC). This exclusive Fisker authorized accessory program will be available through Fisker retailers. The first car equipped with accessories from the program features a variety of aerodynamic components and two wheel options (forged and monoblack) for the Karma. There are a number of other new and exciting products in development.