• Sep 8th 2009 at 2:29PM
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Fisker Karma - Click above for high-res image gallery

The miles per gallon rating of a vehicle that can get energy from an electrical outlet is a difficult thing to accurately calculate and get the public to accept. Just ask AFS Trinity, with their "150 mpg" SUVs, or GM with its 230 mpg number for the Chevy Volt. Still, it's valuable to have some sort of number to compare vehicles against one another, and Fisker Automotive has released the first such numbers for its Karma plug-in luxury hybrid: 3.5 liters per 100 kilometers (equivalent to 67.2 mpg U.S.) and CO2 emissions of just 83 grams per kilometer.

Fisker is basing these numbers on SAE methodology for measuring emissions for PHEVs. We're trying to confirm this with Fisker, but we think this means the J1711 methodology, about which you can read more here or in this PDF. (UPDATE: It's actually J2841) In any case, Fisker says that the Karma's CO2 emissions will be, on average, "less than that of today's cleanest production cars and 75 percent less than that of competing vehicles." If the company meets its ambitious goal of selling 15,000 Karmas a year starting when it goes on sale next year and then through 2016, they estimate that 248 million gallons of gasoline will be saved.

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[Source: Fisker]



Stylish plug-in hybrid sedan cleaner, more efficient than today's best

Fisker Karma002_LoResIRVINE, CA - September 8, 2009: The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will emit just 83g CO2/km and have an economy rating of 3.5L/100km, according to SAE methodology measuring emissions for plug-in hybrids.

Making its German debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, the four-door Karma will be one of the cleanest, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, but will still offer world-class style and performance.

Calculations developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) estimate carbon dioxide output will be less than that of today's cleanest production cars and 75 percent less than that of competing vehicles, on average. SAE is an internationally recognized organization of experts that help drive government automotive policy.

Some 941 million liters (248 million gallons) of gasoline could be saved and 2.3 million metric tons (2.5 million US tons) of CO2 offset from sales of 15,000 Karmas per year through 2016. Still, with 403hp and more torque than many supercars, 0-100km/h (62mph) takes about six seconds and maximum speed is 201km/h (125mph).

"The Fisker Karma is the future of driving," said Henrik Fisker, CEO. "It proves we can drive environmentally responsible cars without sacrificing the emotional things that made us fall in love with cars in the first place."

Fueling the Karma could cost just €0.02/km ($0.03/mile), consuming as little as 21 kilowatt hours per 100km in its electric-only Stealth mode, according to SAE methodology. However, a real-world annual average would be closer to €0.05/km ($0.07/mile) based on a mix of Stealth and Sport (gasoline) mode use. Actual economy and emission results will vary depending on individual driving habits and usage requirements.

In Stealth mode -- engaged on demand via steering wheel-mounted paddle switches -- the Karma can be driven into the growing number of traffic-restricting Low Emissions Zones (LEZ) across Europe. Some 70 cities and towns in eight European countries have opted for LEZs, including Berlin, Stuttgart, London and Amsterdam.

The Karma will be the first production Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) when it goes on sale in 2010. Its exclusive Q-DRIVE® powertrain is expected to deliver an emission-free 80km (50mi) per full charge of its 22kWh/200kW Lithium-ion battery, and a total extended range of more than 480km through the use of its gasoline powered engine/generator.

Fisker Automotive is poised to benefit immensely as support from countries around the world for clean vehicles increases. For example, the US has announced its intention to put 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on its roads by 2015. Germany recently unveiled an action plan to have 1 million electric cars on its roads by 2020. Japan wants electric vehicles to make up half of all vehicle sales within a decade.

Fisker Automotive is a privately owned, premium American car company with a vision to lead the automotive industry into the next-generation of automobiles with high-end design expertise and eco-friendly powertrain technology. Global headquarters are in Irvine, California, USA.

The company was created in 2007 to leverage the design capabilities of Fisker Coachbuild, LLC, founded by auto design veterans Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler, and the PHEV powertrain capabilities of Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ-QTWW), a major Tier 1 supplier of clean vehicle technologies to the automotive OEMs. Previously, Fisker, CEO, was design director for Aston Martin and president and CEO of BMW's DesignworksUSA. Koehler, COO, led design operations at Ford, Aston Martin and BMW.

Fisker Automotive's first car is the Fisker Karma, the world's first production Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The four-door Karma will be followed by two variants and a second line of lower cost, high volume premium green automobiles by 2012

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mileage is not spectacular for a plug-in hybrid, but pretty good for a performance car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice. VERY nice!
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I had the cash and these numbers prove to be true this could be the car that gets me into a hybrid, really like the look
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now here is a good car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's Snidely Whiplash: The Car
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll be honest in saying I really don't like hybrids, particularly plug-in hybrids, but I would possibly consider this if I was in the market for a car of this type.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hi there Mr. Pringle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ha, couldn't put my finger on it but you nailed it.

        • 5 Years Ago

        "Fisker" also reminds me of "whisker", just sayin.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Geez Autoblog, what is wrong with your commenting system? It seems to eat up my comments, necessitating a second comment to ensure that both show up. Just in the last article it happened with the second comment as well!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't get it. The button on the gear level is at the right side. I am looking at my hands right now and the opposable thumb of my right hand is at the left side of it. Am I a freak???

      Jokes aside, this car looks gorgeous. The colour combination inside is fantastic.

      +1 on yacoub post about the gallery showing always the first pic once started.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Vaporware. Fisker needs to show the meat... How long have they been parading this concept around? I think it's been 3 years since I first saw it and it's still not ready for production. And when it does go into production it will probably be $90,000 and have 40% less range in EV mode than they said it would.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fisker first announced that the Karma will be manufactured by end of 2009. And the process is on track.

        What seem to be the problem here?
        • 5 Years Ago
        correct and correct. The hell with typical production car cycles, focus on expensive cars, just look at the NSX and LF-A, now fisker feels like a cheetah.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, it seems to be exhibiting the standard development and production cycle, to me. Look at the GTR, for example, which had R35 prototypes for ages. Even the Volt has been paraded around in concept and production phases. Fisker is showing the final design and they even drive it around now and again.

        Now lets talk about Vaporware: Maxximus G-Force is vaporware. A new Esprit is vaporware. Karma is nearing completion.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're right. From concept (2007) to production (2010) in a glacial 3 years? Those slackers. It's like they were starting a car company out of nothing...

        /sarcasm off

      • 5 Years Ago
      67 mpg works just fine as a U.S-conversion estimate when 3.5L has only two significant figures. Why report an "estimate" to the tenth of a mpg when it's probably only accurate to +/- 3 mpg at the very best??
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because most people can't grasp the concept of significant figures, let alone the concept of estimation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've been wanting to say this for some time now and am finally getting around to it:

      I really dislike how your new picture gallery technology does not bring me to the image I click on the homepage, but instead brings me to the beginning of the gallery. This adds additional clicks and takes more time than the old, straightforward gallery system your blogsites used to use.

      Just sayin'.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking it was just me or something with my computer. Glad to know I'm not the only one that's been experiencing that problem (ok, glad probably isn't the right word...). And it appears to be intermittent...sometimes it actually does take me to the photo I click on, but most of the time it doesn't.

        The other issue I've had with the new gallery is that I have to hit the back button at least twice to go back one image in the gallery. Yes, I can click the "Previous Image" and be taken back one image without issue, but why would I want to do that when I can just hit the "backspace" key or the back buttons on my mouse or web browser? It seems like a step backward.
        • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's like Autoblog went with the iDrive approach to redesigning the gallery...take something simple and intuitive and make it illogical and complicated for no reason.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Same problem here, thought it was just me. Funny thing is Autoblog's sister blogs, which use the same technology, don't have this problem.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Autoblog does this on purpose since more clicks=more "site traffic"=more ad revenue.
        Seriously I wish blog websites didn't go out of their way to make things harder to use just to drive up revenues. Stuff like having most of an article on the front page but then withholding one picture just so people click through is already super lame, let alone the fact that literally half the page isn't even blog anymore these days but ads.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I'm even finding myself avoiding the galleries now because of not only your point, but the system is lethargic. I'm all for progress but the 'user-friendliness' of the previous application is missed...

        Don't get me wrong, I still peruse the galleries for the details but I'm not a fan.
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