One of the big criticisms of the Fisker Karma is that the heavy beast isn't exactly efficient. A curb weight of 5,300 pounds is one reason why the EPA says, when running on premium gas, the Karma gets just 20 miles per gallon combined (and 20 city/21 hwy). When you throw electricity into the mix, the Karma is rated at 54 MPGe combined.

All other plug-in hybrids on the US market have better MPGe ratings – the 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In gets 95 MPGe, the 2013 Chevrolet Volt gets 98 MPGe, the Ford plug ins – the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi – both get 100 MPGe and the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid gets 115 MPGe,

Still, there is the official test rating and then there's real life, and it turns out that Karma drivers aren't big fans of pumping gas. Henrik Fisker recently told AutoblogGreen that the real-world mpg rating (that is, the miles the car moves based on gallons of gasoline put in, not counting electricity, so not an MPGe amount) is in the triple digits. He said:

You can say what you want about how the Europeans or the EPA measures fuel economy, but we have the facts, the facts of how Fisker Karma owners drive the car. The average is 150 miles a gallon. That is a fact. And we have customers who drive 3,000 to 4,000 miles before they fill up.

We'll post our full Q&A with Henrik tomorrow. Stay tuned.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 60 Comments
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why is this article trying to compare MPGe and MPG? This isn't a question of official results and real-world. This is a question of two different measures. One counts electricity, one doesn't. End of story. Apple's and oranges.
        noevfud
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        It is about nonsense. He says something that is marketing fluff and ABG makes it news. Once people are more educated about EVs and the like this kind of nonsense wil not be repeated. Good luck sustaining this business on these tactics.
      Matt Brown
      • 1 Year Ago
      This just in, Tesla Model S customers get slightly above a hundred trillion jillion fifrillion MPG (not counting electricity, so not an MPGe equivalent).
      MK2
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd be interested to see how this compares to the Volt if you're not taking MPGe into account. I'm betting the Volt does quite a bit better.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Day Ago
        @MK2
        Of course, the Volt does better. Just like a Fit EV does better than a Model S.
          Spec
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I'm not sure if that is supposed to be sarcasm or not.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great review: "Every time I get in and drive it, it feels like a special occasion." http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PudxyL16xsM#!
      JonathanBond
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lies
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Day Ago
      I must correct myself, the EPA label for the Karma is indeed confusing even to those of us who try hard to understand it... 52mpge (combined). 65kWh per 100miles. But we do know that's on the low side. Using 2WM's numbers, and what many Karma drivers report, 40 miles on 20kWh is pretty normal. That is around 67mpge, which is why I just referenced the 65-figure (from a glance) on the EPA label.
      • 1 Year Ago
      By the way, my home electric bill has increased approx $ 17/mo over the last year with my Fisker karma
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't want no DAMN POLLUTIN' $100K OBAMAMOBILE!! #inBeforeRepublicanTrolls
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I guess we're all republicans now and making fun of republicans isn't funny anymore? I don't get you people :P
        EZEE
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Oh for goodness sake, he is being funny.... What's with the downvotes? Besides,the trolls have been out in force....
        Ugo Sugo
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Let me know when you want to go together to shoot those unpatriotic, Godless liberals sending jobs overseas. My M16 needs some work out! God Bless America
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      All of these plug-in EVs and extended range EVs are always going to have wildly different mileage results. They bring the "your mileage may vary" statement to new levels. I think most owners of cars like the Fisker and Volt tend to get mileage way beyond official EPA ratings. That's because they know the cars are designed for shorter pure-EV commutes. And they know that their commutes align with this rating. It's like someone that buys a pickup truck and has a specific tow/capacity rating. You don't buy more or less than you need and then complain the truck is poor. Fisker owners are hitting the 150mpg averages because they are doing the bulk of their time in EV mode. They aren't buying them for long distance commutes.
      luigi.tony
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can someone explain we the USA taxpayers are paying people in Finland to build cars?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Day Ago
        @luigi.tony
        But they aren't. US taxpayers financed a loan that created jobs for US-based designers and engineers.
        dlubeck_mbz
        • 1 Day Ago
        @luigi.tony
        Well, they're definitely not building cars now--haven't for about 7 months or so. However, a sale looks imminent. Hopefully, they'll start building at their Delaware plant, as promised.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm waiting for the day when EV owners who use only solar PV get all smug and complain about EV owners who use "dirty" grid power. Oh, wait, some already do.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Hey, can't fault them. They're not dirtying the sky with their transportation. Some utility energy can be extremely dirty.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          California's energy might be fairly clean if we are talking about the northern half. It's the southern half that uses a lot of fossil fuels. Oregon is a cleaner due to the use of hydro, yes. The rest of the United States is quite bad though. Google 'us electricity generation by source' for more info. My number is a little bit exaggerated. It's more like 78-79% of our electricity comes from fossil fuels ( 45% of that from coal, 24% from natural gas, the rest % from others. ) as of 2010
          purrpullberra
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          2WM: My delicious pacific NW electricity is MUCH cleaner than 80% fossil fuel. And, I am pretty sure your 80%+ line is garbage, too. Nuclear alone gives the US 20% of our electricity. Solar and wind together are ~5-8% and don't forget hydro, sweet, wet hydro. "The grid" doesn't work as 1 perfectly integrated network. I get NW locally made electricity, very clean. In some places EV's are less 'green' than others. You can't generalize over the whole grid. Fewer people who live where electricity is 'dirty' will buy EV's than in Cali (lotsa solar) and WA &OR too.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Sure. You're absolutely right about that. Likewise, Fisker Karma drivers are completely accurate when they say their cars are cleaner and use less energy than all but a very few vehicles. Aside from choosing a Tesla, there's no other vehicle that offers what the Fisker Karma offers.
          canuckinaz
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          2WM, Are you having trouble with your math today? You say that you have exaggerated with the 80% from fossil fuels, and then by your own admission coal is 45% and NG 24%, and still you get up to 79%? you might want to break out that calculator again.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          No, they're not accurate at all. They're not accounting for their energy usage at all. Put 24kwh into a Leaf and it will go 75 miles. Put 20kwh into a Karma and it will go 40 miles. That's a big difference and a lot of waste. Stop playing dumb, i know you're astroturfing again. Your hydrogen astroturfing when you had money on hydrogen companies was bad enough. Let me reiterate again; You know it uses 33%-40% more electricity than other electric cars. You know our grid is >80% fossil fuel powered. You know that this car gets 20mpg on gas, so whenever the gas engine turns on, it gets the fuel economy of some of the most obese v8/v10/v12 luxury sedans ( but doesn't have the power of one.. ) You know it weighs 5,300lbs. If it's not powered by renewables, it's a pig. How many people have a 4-10kw panel + battery array on their house to fill this thing up from the sun, really? A 4 cylinder hybrid or any other plugin hybrid is cleaner than this car, and probably some other 4/6 cylinder cars are cleaner. If it did not have a battery, you would pay a gas guzzler tax at the dealership when you bought it. If it did not have a battery, you could have traded it in as a 'cash for clunkers car. If you think is cleaner and uses less energy than most cars, you have reached a state of delusion that has not been named yet... let's call it 'astroturfer's delirium' for now, though.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          A pure BEV will always be more efficient than the Karma, no argument. But it's silly to compare the Karma to the Leaf for many obvious reasons. The Karma, being a PHEV, is clearly better than a pure ICE - ie all those big luxury sedans you know it competes with - simply because the Karma has the option to *not* use gasoline on the regular daily commute. Other PHEVs, like the Volt and the Honda Accord PHEV, are definitely more efficient, but they also lack many of the finer details like style and power, so they likewise compete at a different level. The Cadillac ELR gets close, very efficient, almost as luxurious and stylish. Maybe too common, but certainly in the zone. BMW, Porsche, and all the other premium brands will certainly bring their A-game, so the Karma won't be alone in its market for long. Keep hating, 2WM (and others). The Karma is something you just don't understand.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        You should see the vanity license plates on the EVs and Volts around here. The combination of solar panels and an EV seem to produce a near compulsion to show off.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      MPGe is a really misleading metric because the electricity used is not counted.. Electricity is also not measured in gallons.. It also can vary widely. If you only drive your car 40 miles, you could get 999999mpge, and so since you use no gas, you can stand proud atop smug mountain and proclaim how many polar bears your car saved, right? So some Karma driver can brag about getting a more conservative 999mpge in his car, but that tells us nothing about the efficiency. How about some watt-hours per mile numbers for when it's running on electric power?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Burning less gas is the real goal. High electrical efficiency is really nice, but the Karma is a first-gen product in a brand-new segment. Less gas burned is less pollution, less foreign oil dependency, fewer dollars leaving the economy. Less gas burned is less gas needed. Remember the big picture, and consider the positive effect of eliminating all that gasoline use. They'll continue to work on the efficiency of the electric side...
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        The first generation of other plugin hybrids and EVs were never this inefficient on introduction. This car's inefficiency is not some mistake that can be tweaked out or corrected with a software update. There are many elements of this car that cause it to be a total watt guzzler. One problem is the 5,300lb curb weight. That's 400-700lbs heavier than a hummer H2. I've got no idea how they got the car that heavy. The cD is 0.31 and the frontal area is very large too. But where does the energy go? With ~400 electric horsepower it runs a ~7 second quarter mile. The upper end Tesla Model S with ~410 horsepower runs a 3-4 second quarter mile. The Model S is only what, 600lb lighter? how does the Karma manage to waste so much? Less gas burned is not necessarily less pollution! Depends on where you get energy from. Over 80% of America's electricity comes from fossil fuels. More and more of that electricity will be generated by gasoline as time goes on, as there is a big war on coal right now. If you are using utility energy and your car is using 33-40% more electricity than say, a Tesla Model S.. how clean is it really, on electrons? I'd bet someone driving an ecobox has a vastly lower carbon footprint. Someone could roll the numbers and find out if they knew what the watt-hours per mile was on the Karma. Until we run everything on renewables, electric efficiency matters.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          The roadster motor was pretty good out the gate.. it had great efficiency. now i'm not sure if Tesla designed it or not.. i don't know my history on that one. One of my fellow forum members found the supplier for the Karma electric motor. http://www.jjecn.com/en/ProductShow.asp?Type=3&ID=44 Caution: broken english
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Damnit, i meant 0-60. The things i would do for an edit button.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          That's pretty much it. The Karma uses a pretty much stock Chinese motor (well, two of them). A great place for major improvements, no doubt. I think it's safe to assume the Roadster motor is a Tesla design. They built them (hand-wound!) in-house. They licensed some designs from AC propulsion, but ultimately everything in the motor is proprietary to Tesla.
          omni007
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Did you mean 1/8 mile? I don't know any car that can do a 4 second 1/4 mile except for top-fuel dragsters.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          "how does the Karma manage to waste so much?" The Karma does use two relatively stock off-the-shelf motors, while the Tesla only uses one. No argument, Tesla builds a better motor, and I would hope so because it's a custom design they build themselves. That's a great part of being an established company's second product. Tesla has much experience that they are able to use to their benefit.
        Naturenut99
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        re"MPGe is a really misleading metric because the electricity used is not counted.." Actually, that's exactly what MPGe does. It does calculate the electricity efficiency with the gas. MPG obviously does not include electric use. Using MPG (NOT MPGe) people can claim really high numbers and still be correct if they label it MPG and not MPGe. That being said I dont care that much about MPGe. Yes it is a metric to keep track of efficiency. But it is horrible as a way to describe energy use.
          canuckinaz
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Naturenut99
          2WM, I think you are misunderstanding what MPGe means and how it's calculated. Of course electricity is counted! As NN99 says, MPG does not include electricity but MPGe does. Electricity is obviously not measured in gallons, but the EPA uses the conversion factor of 33.7 kWh of electrical energy equivalent in a gallon of fuel (check out the label of any EV or PHEV). There is no "skewing" of the numbers. The MPGe value is calculated when the vehicle is in charge-depleting mode, and the MPG value is calculated in charge-sustaining mode. There is a distinct transition between these two modes, and it's not hard for the dyno facility personnel to monitor it.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Naturenut99
          It calculates the electrical efficiency with gas on one tank... You skew the number by not filling up your car to full and charging it to full. The variance is 20mpge ( running all on gas all the time ) to 99999999mpge ( never put gas in, only charge it ). It's a number that does not reflect real life at all.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        "So some Karma driver can brag about getting a more conservative 999mpge in his car, but that tells us nothing about the efficiency." Quite the strawman you've invented. A Karma driver would never claim such a ridiculous thing. As for the mpge of the Karma, it's right there on the EPA label. 65mpge in pure electric mode. About half that of a Fit EV or an Accord PHEV, but nearly 75% the efficiency of a Model S (89mpge). Not that much of a trade-off, considering the Karma won't leave you unable to use the HVAC while you desperately try to find the next charging station.
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