FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Green Dogma Run Over By Clunky Karma
“It is a little disconcerting that you pay that amount of money for a car ($100,000) and it lasts basically 180 miles before going wrong,” David Champion, senior director for the magazine’s automotive test center, told Reuters.
The Fisker Karma has found yet another way to conserve our nation’s precious energy. According to Consumer Reports, it goes 180 miles and then fails. Once it fails, it no longer consumes resources. The planet is saved!
Consumer Reports went to a dealership in Connecticut and acquired a Karma to test it out and give it a write-up in an upcoming issue of the magazine. The testers were attempting to calibrate the car at a speed of 65MPG when a warning light came on. They completed their test event, parked the vehicle and could not successfully operate it again.
This wasn’t the original plan that Fisker corporate founders Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Kohler had in mind. At their corporate website they describe their vision.
Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler, who share over 51 years of combined experience in the automotive world, decided to forge a new and radical perspective on what is possible in the automotive world….In 2007, they founded Fisker Automotive, a true automobile manufacturer which introduced the world’s first premium hybrid electric vehicle, the Fisker Karma.
They prattle on about how many American jobs they are creating. They fail to mention once that the actual car is manufactured by The Valmet Corporation in Finland. Valmet began as a jobs project for The Finnish Governmentin 1968. It has since adapted, taken on private industry partners and is about as successful as you could hope a state-run industry would become. However well it does, it isn’t creating American jobs.
Of course, the US Government had hopes getting an electrical car plant up and running here. With that in mind the US DoE loaned Fisker $M529 to build a new, more economical model called Project Nina. This was to coincidentally take place in Delaware, home state of Vice President Joe Biden.
In a fitting tribute to Huey “The Kingfish” Biden the project quickly fell furlongs behind its Gantt Chart and the DoE ordered the Wilmington, DE project terminated. The corporation is currently negotiating with the USG to get the low –interest credit spigot turned back on. The State of Delaware is on the hook for an additional $M21, and private investors have possibly been yinced for the sum of $M850.
The Karma has experienced several unpleasant turns of fate prior to their recent Consumer Reports debacle. Greencarreports.com has criticized the car on several levels.
The Karma has had significant teething troubles, with several delays in the announced launch dates and two recalls, one to prevent a battery-pack leak and the other to update software. It was also rated at a mere 20 mpg by the EPA in range-extending mode, when the 2.0-liter gasoline engine switches on to power a generator that sends electricity to the pair of electric motors that turn the rear wheels. A further indignity: The low, sleek Karma sedan was rated a subcompact by the EPA, based on its limited interior volume. As we learned during our brief test drive in New York last month, the car is somewhat tight inside–although not necessarily cramped.
It would seem we have yet another Green Energy project that upholds the proud tradition of Solyndra. The basic idea seems good but pressure is immediately applied to achieve results. The underlying technology works well on a chalk board or a lab, but the hyper-aggressive programmatic risks lead to the fielding of unreliable, poor-value products. The government funding is therefore burned up for nothing. As fellow-Contributor Francis Cianfrocca points out, Obama, Chu, and everyone else in the govt are simply nuts to think electric cars make any economic sense at all. There just isn’t enough subsidy money in the world to buy an electric car for everyone given the current state of battery technology. A Tesla Model S gets as much as $30K in taxpayer subsidy, ditto the Volt. There are more than 200 million vehicles in the United States…Would take something $6 trillion to buy a Volt/Model S/etc for everyone.
Thus, even if the Karma worked, fate would not be kind to the utopian vision of green cars tooling on down the highway. It is just another road to Hell paved with taxpayer monies and politicaly correct intentions.
Pictured below is the one logical use I can find for The Fisker Karma at its current level of reliability growth. Enjoy…