At the Detroit Auto Show, Henrik Fisker finally unveiled the Karma, the plug-in hybrid electric car he hopes to start selling in 2009. Actually what was unveiled was a curvaceous four door styling buck. There are no mechanical components. According to Fisker reps, there won't be a running prototype of the Karma until the end of 2008. When asked not much was available in terms of technical details. A little digging around has turned up some clues about what might be coming. Fisker's specialty is styling, not mechanicals. For that skillset he has formed a partnership with Quantum Technologies. Quantum however is not known for developing powertrains, they have specialized in compressed gas fuel storage systems. A couple of years ago Quantum purchased Tecstar, a company with some experience in powertrain development. In the realm of plug-in hybrids one problem that must be addressed is batteries. The obvious question that arises is who will supply the battery. The most likely candidate would be Advanced Lithium Power of Vancouver BC. ALP already has a relationship with Quantum through a program to convert some Ford Escape Hybrids to plug-in capability in Southern California. Not much detail is available right now about what technology ALP is using but perhaps we'll find out if and when Fisker and Quantum actually roll out a functional prototype.
[Source: Advanced Lithium Power, Quantum Technologies]