8 September 2009

Fisker Karma

Fisker shows Karma plug-in hybrid at IAA

8 September 2009 | Making its German debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, the four-door Karma is said to be one of the cleanest, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, but will still offer world-class style and performance. The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will emit just 83g CO2/km and have an economy rating of 3.5L/100km, according to SAE methodology measuring emissions for plug-in hybrids. It goes on sale in 2010.

Calculations by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) estimate carbon dioxide output will be less than that of today's cleanest production cars and 75 percent less than that of competing vehicles, on average. SAE is an internationally recognised organisation of experts that help drive government automotive policy.

Fisker automobiles could save 941 million litres (248 million gallons) of gasoline and offset 2.3 million metric tons (2.5 million US tons) of CO2 through 2016. Still, with 403 hp and more torque than many supercars, 0-100km/h (62 mph) takes about six seconds and maximum speed is 201 km/h (125 mph).

Fuelling the Karma could cost just €0.02/km ($0.03/mile), consuming as little as 21 kilowatt hours per 100km in its electric-only Stealth mode, according to SAE methodology. However, a real-world annual average would be closer to €0.05/km ($0.07/mile) based on a mix of Stealth and Sport (gasoline) mode use. Actual economy and emission results will vary depending on individual driving habits and usage requirements.

In Stealth mode (engaged on demand via steering wheel-mounted paddle switches) the Karma can be driven into the growing number of traffic-restricting Low Emissions Zones (LEZ) across Europe. Some 70 cities and towns in eight European countries have opted for LEZs, including Berlin, Stuttgart, London and Amsterdam.

Its exclusive Q-DRIVE powertrain is expected to deliver an emission-free 80 km (50 mi) per full charge of its 22 kWh / 200 kW Lithium-ion battery, and a total extended range of more than 480km through the use of its gasoline powered engine/generator.

Fisker Automotive is poised to benefit immensely as support from countries around the world for clean vehicles increases. For example, the US has announced its intention to put one million plug-in hybrid cars on its roads by 2015. Germany recently unveiled an action plan to have one million electric cars on its roads by 2020. Japan wants electric vehicles to make up half of all vehicle sales within a decade.

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