Fisker has acquired funding from the DOE to complete the Karma and move forward with project NINA – a low-cost plug-in Hybrid to be made in the US.
Henrik Fisker has been planning the Fisker Karma for what seems a very long time. It looks a very good stab at a luxury, plug-in electric car – as we saw recently when he took the Karma out for a shakedown at Laguna Seca. But putting a car like the Karma together is a big deal for even established car makers, so Fisker have been a bit hamstrung by a lack of funds.
But late yesterday the DOE in the US approved loans to Fisker of $528 million (around £323 million). That should help. The loan is aiming to secure production of a plug-in hybrid in the US, which probably means the lower cost car Fisker has been talking about for some time. The Karma is due to come in around $80k, but the plans are for a smaller car at half that price. We spoke to Henrik Fisker earlier this year, and he made it clear that once funding was in place the new car – which this report is calling project NINA (new one on us) – would be able to move forward quickly.
But the funding also means that the Fisker Karma should now proceed to market much more quickly. The DOE stated that 1/3rd of the funding was to get the Karma finished, which means we should be heading towards a launch in 2010. And the Karma certainly stands a good chance of succeeding. It’s offering S-Class levels of performance and luxury but with fuel consumption of around 80mpg. Which, when Henrik Fisker first started releasing details of the Karma, was exceptional. But the world moves on, and Mercedes are offering similar levels of luxury, economy and performance from the S500 Hybrid we saw at Frankfurt.
Still, good news for Fisker. And the Karma is a very good looking car. Let’s see what ‘NINA’ has to offer.