Fisker Misses Deadline, Won’t Start Selling Karma Plug-in Hybrids Until 2011

Last September, when the US Department of Energy announced Fisker would be getting a half billion dollars in stimulus loans to bring their vision of a plug-in future to reality, both DOE and Fisker said that the company’s first electric car — the plug-in hybrid Karma supercar — would be hitting showrooms this summer.

But even with a huge influx of money (they’ve got almost a billion dollars in capitalization right now), it seems that Fisker won’t be meeting that intended goal and has now shifted their onsale date for the Karma to sometime in the “first three months” of 2011. Is this a bad omen for the future, or simply a hiccup along the way?

When it finally goes on sale, the Karma will be an $88,000 luxury supercar that follows much the same mantra as the Tesla Roadster: start with a cool supercar and then bring their plug-in technology to ever more affordable cars that, eventually, the average person can afford. For Fisker, the next iteration of “more affordable” is a car codenamed “Project Nina” — a $48,000 “family” sedan that they say will hit the street in 2012. After that, Fisker plans on making cars that would presumably retail for less than $30K.

Fisker has some lofty goals for production that include eventually building 100,000 vehicles a year at their recently purchased Delware construction facility. But if they can’t even meet the production deadlines they’ve set for themselves for their first vehicle, can we trust that their future plans are solid? If we get to February 2011 and they’ve actually started selling Karmas then I think it’ll be clear this hiccup is simply par for the course… but if we get to February and Fisker says they need another few months, we better start wondering if our government will ever get its half-billion dollar investment back.

Source: The Detroit News

Nick Chambers

Not your traditional car guy.