Will the Fisker Karma Matter?
Let's give it up for Fisker Automotive!
Henrik Fisker, founder of the auto company bearing his name, is set to introduce his luscious looking gas-electric Karma sedan in the coming months. The car, influenced heavily by the auto designer turned chief executive, was criticized by some as being vaporware when it made its debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a concept model.
But right now a pre-production Karma is traveling the dealer circuit, going from showroom to showroom to show Fisker dealers up close and personal how the car looks, feels and drives. Mr. Fisker is about to have the last laugh, but in the grand scheme of things will the low production Fisker Karma matter?
My short answer as editor of The Auto Writer is yes it will matter.
But first some background information. The Fisker Karma will have one thing in common with the upcoming Chevy Volt: it will run on pure electric power for up to 50 miles before a gas engine kicks in to extend its range.
Unlike the Nissan Leaf which will go about 100 miles on a single charge but with no supplemental gas engine, the Karma should be able to travel more than 300 miles before it needs to be replenished. That will suit regional travelers who won't want to be restricted to around the town driving: they'll actually be able to take their Karma on the road for long trips.
The Karma is being built for Fisker by Valmet Automotive in Finland. Initial sales will commence in Europe first followed by the United States and Canada. Peak capacity is 15,000 units annually per Karma, but expect that just a few thousand models will be sold at first. With a base price of $87,500, the Karma is much more expensive than comparable European luxury sedans, but with a $7500 federal rebate, the price is lowered somewhat.
Don't expect price to matter much to those who can afford it because the sleek style of this sedan coupled with its novel engineering will attract buyers. You may own a Mercedes, BMW or Audi, but few will own a Fisker. Expect that this small group of owners to be thrilled with being among the first to own a vehicle of its kind.
Now back to why the Fisker Karma matters. We're at the dawn of a new automotive age, one that will include far more hybrids and pure electric vehicles than ever before. The Toyota Prius and Honda Insight have shown us that alternate powered vehicles are possible while the Ford Fusion Hybrid has demonstrated that they can also be attractive.
The Tesla Roadster, introduced in 2008, proved that lithium-ion technology is advanced, robust and attractive, the same engineering that will power the Volt, Karma, Leaf and other pure electric models. Expect that the Karma, even in low numbers, will attract interest far behind its production capacity. That's good too because Fisker, like Tesla, is looking at mass producing other models at a significantly lower cost to consumers.
Sure, there are environmental matters of importance too including much better fuel economy and much lower greenhouse gas emissions, two sustainable living attributes of note. Lowering dependency on foreign sources of oil is also important, something that the vehicle electrification collective will help do as the industry expands to meet customer demand.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Matthew_Keegan
Matthew C. Keegan is a freelance writer who resides in North Carolina. Matt is a contributing writer for Ground Dynamics an aftermarket supplier cool parts including body kits and headlamps.