By standard definition, both the Fisker Karma and the Chevrolet Volt are plug-in hybrid vehicles. However, that has not stopped either automaker from putting a twist on words and claiming that its vehicle is more like a pure electric than a hybrid. In the battle of words, Fisker Automotive has responded to Chevy's "More Car than Electric" marketing push with a claim of its own: "Fisker Karma is the first and only true electric vehicle with extended range."
What is Fisker trying to imply and how can this be conceived as taking a shot at the Volt? Well, down at the bottom of its recent press release, Fisker describes its Q-Drive powertrain like this (emphasis added):
Call us crazy, but it sure seems like Fisker is making reference to the Chevy Volt's gas-engine assist capabilities. Anyways, we're still left wondering: Is the 5,000-pound Karma any more electric than the Volt?The Karma is the first and only true electric vehicle with extended range. With no mechanical link between gas engine and drive wheels, Fisker's exclusive Q-Drive® powertrain frees the internal combustion engine to work at its highest efficiency by turning only the attached 175 kW generator, which sends power directly to its two electric traction motors.