Fisker Karma - Click above for high-res image gallery

According to a report from earth2tech, Ray Lane, an investor with Kleiner Perkins, has let slip news that Fisker is developing a new plug-in hybrid automobile to slot below its planned Karma sedan with a base price of just $39,000. No indication is made whether that price would be before or after the $7,500 federal tax rebate it would likely qualify for.

Kleiner Perkins is one of the major investors in Fisker Automotive, so there's reason to believe Lane has knowledge of the inner workings of the young automaker. Earlier, company CEO Henrik Fisker said that the automaker was looking to the Department of Energy for a loan of an undetermined amount in order to build a lower-cost plug-in automobile. We spoke with Fisker about a low-cost model back in January.

We haven't received word that Fisker's DOE loan was approved, so we're not really sure where the funds to develop the new machine will come from. In any case, the Fisker Karma isn't slated to go on sale until late 2010, so the lower-cost PHEV very likely has quite a ways to go before it hits the pavement to do battle with the likes of the Chevy Volt. Thanks for the tip, Jon!



[Source: earth2tech]

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