Recently, the Fisker Karma was confirmed to be capable of 51.6 miles in electric range by the European regulatory body TÜV. This was a shade more impressive than the EPA's 32-mile EV range calculation.

Now, the TUV is saying that the Karma's CO2 emissions level is 51 g/km CO2, which equates to 112 mpg. Again, compare to the EPA's 52 MPGe (even though, yes, mpg and MPGe are not really comparable – to say nothing about the completely different testing methods that the EPA and TÜV use to generate all these numbers). To get 112 mpg must require starting with a full pack, since TÜV tests show that if you put the Karma into Sport mode once the all-EV miles are done and you're driving in charge-sustaining mode, the Karma gets a paltry 26 mpg (combined, and the EPA tested the car to 20 mpg). That's not great, but Fisker's press release is quick to point out that it is, "the best of any full size, US-market luxury car." That says more about the market than it does about the Karma.

Speaking of the market, the Karma is now emissions compliant in all 50 states, thanks to the a recent certification from the California Air Resources Board.
Show full PR text
FISKER KARMA ACHIEVES 112 mpg, 51 g/km CO2 IN INDEPENDENT TESTS

Anaheim, California USA – November 16, 2011: The Fisker Karma Electric Vehicle with extended range achieves 112 mpg (2.1 l/100km) combined fuel economy and emits just 51 g/km CO2, according to independent testing by the Technischer Üeberwachungs Verein (TÜV), Europe's recognized automotive certification agency. TÜV tests also validated the Karma's all-electric range at 51.6 miles (83 km).

Separately, 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 Resources Board (CARB) recently offered its certification, making the Karma emissions compliant in all 50 states.

The Karma, a 400-horsepower luxury sedan that can accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.1 seconds, is one of the most efficient, lowest emission automobiles available despite its size, performance and visual appeal.

These figures are possible 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.

Technically a series plug-in hybrid, the Karma gives drivers the ability to run emission free on demand, as well as travel long distances without the range anxiety or long recharge times associated with pure electric vehicles.

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/100km) combined fuel economy in TÜV tests, the best of any full size, US-market luxury car.

"We are naturally very pleased with the TÜV 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."

TÜV Results

Urban
Extra urban
Combined
CO2
58 g/km
47 g/km
51 g/km
Fuel consumption
98 mpg
(2.4 l/100km)
118 mpg
(2.0 l/100km)
112 mpg
(2.1 l/100km)
Electric range
51.6 mi
(83 km)

ABOUT FISKER AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
Fisker Automotive is an American car company, founded in 2007, committed to producing electric vehicles with extended range (EVer) that deliver uncompromised responsible luxury. The company is designing and developing the world's first line of premium electric plug-in hybrids representing the company's firm belief that environmentally conscious cars need not sacrifice passion, style, or performance. Fisker Automotive is a global company that is redefining luxury for the modern sports car buyer. For more information on the brand and the Fisker Karma Sedan, please go to http://fiskerautomotive.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      Smith Jim
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder if there will ever be harmonized test standards such that all vehicles get the same results regardless of where the vehicle is tested. The laws of physics are the same everywhere.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        Since driving conditions vary in different regions it would seem that test variation is appropriate. If you live in a European city the highway mileage for an American commute is not very relevant.
          Smith Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Thanks JakeY. You said what I was trying to say but you obviously did a much better job of if.
          Dave
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          "Since driving conditions vary in different regions it would seem that test variation is appropriate. If you live in a European city the highway mileage for an American commute is not very relevant." There are no driving conditions that exist in Europe which do not also exist in the USA. None. 50 miles is a very optimistic electric range for the Karma. The US pre 2007 numbers (which are still used for CAFE) are also very optimistic. For the sake of consumer protection, they were scaled down to better reflect typical performance. The numbers are not perfect, but if you look at fueleconomy.gov, you see that they are fairly close to the real world numbers which have been reported by drivers.
          Peter
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          And remember that the EPA "seems" to be more real world because a) They use American gallons (20% smaller) b) The EPA fudges the numbers they get down by an arbitrary percent: the city is adjusted downward by 10 percent, and the highway by 22 percent. c) CAFE of course uses the unadjusted numbers, which means manufactures are automatically 17% better than EPA when they calculate the fleet average. d) The EPA duty cycle is city at 55 percent and the highway at 45 percent, which Dave correctly points out is not the experience of drivers in the EU e) Some of the EPA fudge is because their testings are strange. The highway simulates a 10 mile trip with an average speed of 48 mph. The city test simulates a stop and go trip with an average speed of about 20 miles per hour (mph). I doubt that this reflects average American driving (I think highway speeds are higher and city speeds are lower) but I have no data to support this.
          Smith Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          LTAW, I understand how the tests were different. They are vastly different. That's exactly the point I'm trying to make. GM was widely criticized for making the claim that the Volt would achieve 230 MPG using the former EPA test methods. The EPA modified their method of testing specifically to adapt to new types of cars such as EVs and PHEVs. Soon after I made my first comment about test harmonization I went to the GCC website and found the following article as the top story. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/11/lcfs-20111121.html
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          SJ, that article refers to the harmonization of fuel standards, specifically determining what is to be considered a "low carbon fuel". For example, there is great debate as to whether corn ethanol is truly low carbon, based on the whole production cycle required to produce it. Hydrogen faces a similar question, dependent on the source of that hydrogen. Sometimes it is low carbon, sometimes it isn't. You were asking about the harmonization of fuel efficiency testing, which is entirely different. It would be fair to say that each regulatory agency (EPA, TUV, etc) has adopted testing techniques that tell them what they would like to know, so as to provide a basis of comparison. Some are more arcane, and some are more straightforward. It wouldn't be impossible to have a global standard, but being much more generally organized, it would lack the specificity that each region requires. The result would be uniform results, but greater disparity of accuracy. As DaveMart points out, our testing standard works well for us, and theirs works well for them. There's no pressing need for a single standard, which if it did exist, would be even more off-base than what we have now. I think the TUV presentation is pretty straightforward, and I think it would better reflect my own use than what the EPA figures. Then again, I'm pretty used to assuming I'll do better than what the EPA says anyway - as do a large number of advanced auto drivers (hybrids, etc.) To sum up, the article you reference has nothing to do with standardizing fuel efficiency testing standards of specific models of auto. It has to do with standardizing the nomenclature of what they are fueled with.
          Tysto
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          European mileage standard should figure in crawling thru tiny town centers at 11 MPH and blasting down the Autobahn at 120 MPH. Cars would MPG numbers like 58 city / 7 highway. :-)
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Peter: We don't use the EPA numbers here in Europe, and I often find American critiques of the ones we do use as overly generous incorrect for our use here. They tend to work reasonably well for Europe, IMO, which is what they were designed to do.
          JakeY
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          In the same vein, European test results are also not relevant in the US. But journalists insist on comparing European test results to US test results. International studies on green house gas emissions are done also do the same thing (there is no adjustment for the differences in the testing cycles and driving conditions). In this case, Fisker is insisting somehow these results are valid in the US, when people should be looking at EPA results to compare with other cars in the US. For example, the following statement is entirely misleading: "When driven in charge-sustaining Sport mode the Karma achieves 26 mpg (9.2 l/100km) combined fuel economy in TÜV tests, the best of any full size, US-market luxury car." They are comparing TÜV/NEDC results to EPA results. If you look at NEDC vs NEDC results, there are plenty of full size, US-market luxury cars that do significantly better: the Lexus LS 600h gets 9.3l/100km, the MB S400 gets 7.9l/100km, the Panamera S hybrid gets 7.1 l/100 km, S350 gets 6.8l/100km.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          There are no different driving conditions between Europe and the US, but the frequency with which they are encountered varies enormously. and hence their impact on the average driver within different regions. Some climatic conditions simply do no happen in some areas either, notably extremes of temperature and so test cycles which emphasise or even contain them will be misleading.
          Smith Jim
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Are you suggesting that EU drivers achieve TWICE the efficiency of American drivers? (112 vs. 52 mpg)
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Smith Jim It's important to realize that the 112mpg figure was generated by measuring the amount of gasoline used over a set distance. In combined urban/extra urban driving (defined by the TUV) they measured the Karma to use 2.1 l/100km. It should be assumed they started out with a full charge, and then used the RE when the battery could no longer be the primary power source. The 52mpg(e) that you mention, Smith Jim, is a figure calculated by the EPA to describe the equivalent energy use of the Karma *while on battery power only*. You're comparing two entirely different measurements.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Smith Jim Of course not. I am suggesting that you will never get just one methodology, and the this is appropriate as there are different uses possible. As always if you want to do close comparison you need to look into the way the headline figures are compiled. No-where is this more true than for plug in hybrids, where different assumptions might well lead to very different figures depending on how many miles are done using petrol compared to electricity. Countries where long distance drives are more common would of course find that they use much more petrol.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I'll point out that the TUV uses liters, not imperial gallons, in their original measurements. So, any reference/conversion back to gallons by the media for US consumption should be using US gallons. Of course, like the Volt, the Karma will undoubtedly spend most of its time using grid electricity, so mpg consumption will vary widely - and ultimately likely be much more efficient than even many regular hybrids like the Prius on an annual basis.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      This combined fuel economy number is useless for plug-in hybrids. Your mileage will vary from 20mpg to infinity mpg.. Everyone's driving case is different. I wish they could just be honest and state the miles/kWh & average range extender fuel economy for these vehicles.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        "I wish they could just be honest and state the miles/kWh & average range extender fuel economy for these vehicles." Those numbers are clearly marked on the EPA window sticker, for a potential buyer to read. Fisker does a good job explaining that that number is a baseline, and that as you point out, most people will do better depending on usage. "MPG on Gasoline Only. Once the battery is depleted and the vehicle is running in extended range mode, the Karma sedan achieves 20 miles per gallon city/highway combined – on par with its direct competitors. This is equivalent to consuming 5.1 gallons per 100 miles. The 20 MPG rating only describes the Karma sedan’s fuel efficiency after the point that the electric range has been fully utilized and the vehicle is then running on the gasoline-powered generator. If the Karma’s electric range (battery) is used during a given trip, the overall miles per gallon (total miles traveled per gallon of gasoline consumed) will be much higher. For instance, a driver traveling 40 miles per day and starting from a full charge every day will use only one-third of a gallon of gasoline per day, which is 100 MPG overall." http://www.fiskerautomotive.com/Content/pdf/2012FiskerKarma_EPA_Fuel_Economy_Label.pdf
      • 3 Years Ago
      TÜV is a german testing organization. TÜV stand for "Technischer Überwachungs Verein". It only performs test on al sorts of machines to check if they are compliant with EU or national regulation. It is not a regulatory body as stated in the article.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Seems to be a no brainer way to get to the 54.5mpg rating by...what is it - 2025? Come out with a car or two like these, boom! You have the CAFE...
        EVnerdGene
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        great plan make big bucks on three FUVs that most morons want and lose money on one Volt to balance their CAFE numbers overall, nothing will really change very much
        Roy_H
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Yes, it is interesting that GM thought this was a reasonable goal, and they are noted for SUVs and other large cars, while VW continues to argue against it and they are noted for small fuel efficient cars. GM has the Volt and is busy electrifying their fleet while VW remains committed to their diesel.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        @ev My point was not to endorse that plan, but, mention it as I wonder why some auto makers (VW?) kick and scream about it...
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