• Oct 23rd 2009 at 3:50PM
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Fisker Karma - Click above for high-res image gallery

We heard earlier this week that Fisker Automotive has selected a location to build its U.S. production facility for its upcoming, lower-cost plug-in hybrid. Now there are all sorts of rumors swirling that Delaware is the place where Fisker wants to be, even if Fisker won't officially announce it quite yet. The AP is reporting that Fisker and Delaware representatives have been talking about turning an old GM plant in Wilmington into a place to build PHEVs. The $528.7 million loan that Fisker got from the DOE last month will be used, in part, to upgrade this plant for the upcoming Project Nina and on engineering integration costs for the Karma PHEV. Apparently, the deal is "99 percent" complete, according to unnamed sources with knowledge of the deal. Thanks to Roy B. for the tip!

In other potential good news for Fisker, the company's powertrain partner, Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, announced yesterday that it is ready with a "fuel efficient, high performance diesel hybrid electric powertrain, "Q-Force," after six (6) years of development."

UPDATE: We're now hearing that the Governor of Delaware has confirmed this on a local radio station.

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[Source: AP, Quantum]


Quantum Announces Advanced High Performance All-Wheel Drive Diesel Hybrid Electric Drive System

IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. (Nasdaq: QTWW) today announced that it has introduced a fuel efficient, high performance diesel hybrid electric powertrain, "Q-Force," after six (6) years of development. This advanced, proprietary 4-wheel drivetrain can be configured for specialized military as well as commercial applications.

The first application of Quantum Q-Force is in a JP-8 fuel compatible diesel engine-based, battery dominant, series-hybrid electric military Alternative Mobility Vehicle (AMV). A number of pre-production prototypes that incorporate Q-Force have been successfully developed and built for testing and evaluation by selected commands to assess mission suitability, supportability, performance objectives, and guidance on final vehicle configuration.

In one configuration, the diesel engine produces 75 horsepower, the electric motor, 133 horsepower, and the powertrain yields 5,463 foot-pounds of torque after gear reduction. Features of Q-Force include:

-- Sophisticated System Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, incorporating Quantum's proprietary algorithms
-- Hybrid control system that minimizes battery size through optimized charge controls and regenerative braking
-- Optimized engine operation/calibration and generator performance

-- Advanced traction motor/transmission system

Alan P. Niedzwiecki, President and CEO of Quantum said: "Our innovative diesel hybrid electric all-wheel drive system provides high performance, acceleration and extended range, resulting in significant advantages for the U.S. Army in communications, surveillance, targeting, and reconnaissance missions. We believe that Quantum's Q-Force drivetrain is also very well-suited for commercial applications including homeland security, border patrol, park service operations, and light-duty automobiles."

In 2008 Quantum introduced a gasoline plug-in-hybrid electric drive known as 'Q-Drive' in the Fisker KARMA 4-door sports sedan. Fisker Automotive, a 'Green American' car company co-founded in 2007 by Quantum and Henrik Fisker, was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for a low interest loan of $528.7 million, under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program.

About Quantum: Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc., a fully integrated alternative energy company, is a leader in the development and production of advanced propulsion systems, energy storage technologies, and alternative fuel vehicles. Quantum's portfolio of technologies includes electronic controls, hybrid electric drive systems, hydrogen storage and metering systems and alternative fuel vehicle technologies that enable fuel efficient, low emission hybrid, plug-in hybrid electric, fuel cell, and alternative fuel vehicles. Quantum's powertrain engineering, system integration, vehicle manufacturing, and assembly capabilities provide fast-to-market solutions to support the production of hybrid and plug-in hybrid, hydrogen-powered hybrid, fuel cell, natural gas, and specialty vehicles, as well as modular, transportable hydrogen refueling stations. Quantum's customer base includes automotive OEMs, dealer networks, fleets, aerospace industry, military and other government entities, and other strategic alliance partners.

More information can be found about Quantum's products and services at www.qtww.com.

Forward-Looking Statements This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on certain assumptions and reflect our current expectations and beliefs. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact should be considered to be forward-looking statements. These statements generally include words such as "may," "could," "will," "should," "assume," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "intend," "believe," "predict," "estimate," "forecast," "outlook," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of these terms, and other comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the expected performance of the diesel hybrid electric drive system and the suitability of the diesel hybrid electric drive system for commercial applications. There are a number of important factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materiality from those indicated by such forward-looking statements including, without limitation, the risk that the drive system will not perform as expected, be commercially feasible, or meet the needs of our customer based. Additional risk factors include those risks discussed in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") under the caption Risk Factors. Any forward-looking statement is qualified by reference to these risks, uncertainties and factors. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of the document in which they are made and are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the Company's management as of the date they are made. These risks, uncertainties and factors are not exclusive, and Quantum undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this press release, except as required by law

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great news for the future of the US auto industry!

      Being located on the East coast will make it easy to ship all those Fiskers to Europe, which Fisker expects will be about 50% of their sales.

        • 8 Months Ago
        Interestingly, this plant is located about 3 miles (connected by rail) from one of the largest facilities in North America for prepping and loading vehicle for trans-Atlantic shipment. I wonder how much that played into the decision.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm glad to see a blue state get it...seems lots of plants for the Electric/Hybrid startups and even the Big boys are going to states that basically don't support this industry or shift from stricly ICE cars (read: vote Republican thus Support Big Oil and anti environment/technology shifts), such as South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, even Michigan.

      Reward blue states with the plants to build cars the Blue States support via the electoral process...
        • 8 Months Ago
        What kind of d-bag would make this statement? Are you serious?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm guessing that DeLorean wasn't able to follow through on its plan to acquire the Wilimington plant.

      Regardless, good for Deleware. Let's hope nothing derails the negotiations.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Yep. The rethuglicans made a huge deal about these loans so the plant should definitely not be going to any red anti-progress states.
        • 8 Months Ago
        The bill that provided the loans was part of the Bush administration's "Twenty in Ten" plan as laid out in his State of the Union address. Probably one of the best things the Republicans did for the US auto industry.

        The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 established the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program from which the funds were disbursed.
      • 5 Years Ago

      Never mind Laurens, he loves EVs ;-)
        • 8 Months Ago
        Apparently he even cycles to work just so he can save up for the Nissan Leaf. Thats a dedicated little hippie, that Laurens.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great, I wish them well, though back in July 2008: "The first [Fisker Karmas] will be delivered in the 4th quarter of 2009 in North America with planned delivery to Europe in 2010."

      Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks good, almost like a Maserati! Which goes...
        • 8 Months Ago
        I see a lot more potential for mechanical failure on an ICE drivetrain which makes me wonder what you mean by "which goes". Its my firm opinion (and probably fact) that electric vehicles will go farther, more quickly, and more efficiently in the very near future. So yeah, a maserati may go, but this goes well. :P
        • 8 Months Ago
        The photo is of the Fiskar Karma, an $80,000 plug-in hybrid that will be built in Finland. The Delaware deal is for eventual production of the Fiskar "Project Nina" car, a PHEV they hope to sell for less than half that cost, cheaper than the GM Volt. Since that car is still under development and there are no photos of any prototypes available, AutoBlog Green chose to use a Karma photo instead.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interested to see if they actually pick up diesel-hybrid and put it in a equally attractive body as the Karma, only a compact. Take a challenge and make it as light as a Golf TDI, I dare you Fisker! Performance and economy would be way ahead of any competitor. And if the design is up to Fisker standards, there's nothing stopping it from becoming a hit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does anyone realize that tree hugging, lets make laws for everyone except me, al gore is connected to this company very closely ? Awsome car, but why would I want to put money in that jerk&*%s pocket ?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because it will also put a lot of money into the pockets of other Americans who will be building the car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A diesel hybrid makes great sense, but it would be nice to see a full EV smaller car from Fisker.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Fiskar is working on their "Project Nina" car, to be less than half the cost of the Karma. I suspect it, too, will be a plug-in hybrid.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Diesel electric hybrid from Fisker? SWEET!!!
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