Fisker is in trouble. Anybody who has been following the green automaker’s saga can tell you that things don’t look good for a company that isn’t making any cars, lost its CEO, and cannot secure even Chinese investors. But a Jalopnik writer made a very keen observation that the salvation of Fisker might be a lot simpler if they dropped the whole hybrid act.
Jason Torchinsky penned this piece, which I urge all of you to read in full. But to write a bastardized summary, he basically says that Fisker needs to drop the plug-in hybrid drivetrain for a more efficient turbodiesel setup, and it would improve just about everything that needs improving on the Fisker.
For one, even a BMW turbodiesel would be cheaper than the combination gas generator, electric motor, and 20 kWh batteries. While Fisker claims that Karma owners average about 150 mpg, the Karma also weighs about 5,300 pounds, and returns an embarrassing 20 mpg when the generator is on. This is hardly the portrait of a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Not only would a diesel engine make the Karma lighter, it would also make it cheaper. Instead of selling a $100,000 car, the Karma could shed thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars from the MSRP. It’s still a beautiful car; all it needs is a better drivetrain.
It’s a good plan, at least on the surface, and someone already swapped a Corvette ZR1 engine into a Fisker, so it is definitely doable. And it might just save Fisker.