Fisker Karma PHEV Makes World Driving Debut

Three weeks ago, I wrote a story about the upcoming public debut of the Fisker Karma Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). Well, it’s official. The Karma PHEV made its public driving debut over the weekend, just 19 months after being introduced as a concept car. Behind the wheel was Bernhard Koehler, co-founder and COO of Fisker Automotive. Fisker Automotive is just one of several companies, such as Bright Automotive, that have brought concept cars to market in less than two years – a feat I don’t believe any major automotive company in the states has ever accomplished.

[social_buttons]”This demonstration represents a significant milestone for Fisker Automotive and PHEV technology,” said Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker. “The future of clean cars is bright.”

The 403hp prototype Karma PHEV reached a top speed of 100 miles per hour (mph), but completed its lap around the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca speedway using no gasoline. The event took place during the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races.

Fisker Automotive is developing the full-size Karma sedan to be the first production PHEV. The Karma is designed to illicit all the passion auto enthusiasts share about cool cars. The Karma goes from 0-60 mph in six seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph. It will also boast 100 mpg – although this is much less than the Chevy Volt which just released last week that is car will get 230 mph, fueling the controversy with the EPA about how to determine mph ratings. The company also claims that it will have lower carbon emissions than the hybrids on the road today.

The Karma has a range of 50 emission-free miles on a full charge of its Lithium-ion battery, and a total range of 300 miles. This is due to an on-board generator turned by an efficient but traditional 260hp, four-cylinder gasoline engine. Combined with two powerful electric motors, these components make up the Q-DRIVE powertrain which is exclusive technology found in all Fisker automobiles.


Joanna Schroeder

Joanna is a writer and consultant specializing in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture issues.