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Fisker Karma EPA-rated at 65 kWh/100 miles on electricity, with 32-mile electric range and 20 mpg US on gasoline

The EPA has rated the 2012 Fisker Karma luxury extended range electric vehicle as consuming 65 kWh/100 miles (52 MPGequivalent) when running in all-electric mode, having a 32-mile all-electric range, and consuming 5.1 gallons US/100 miles (~20 mpg) when running the gasoline range-extending engine in hybrid mode. EPA ratings are combined city/highway.

The EPA estimates that the average consumer will save $2,900 in fuel costs over five years with the Karma, compared to the average new vehicle. Receipt of the EPA ratings enables Fisker to begin sales.


As a comparison, the 2011 Chevy Volt (also an extended range electric vehicle), is EPA-rated with consumption of 36 kWh/100 miles (93 MPGe), a 35-mile electric range, and gasoline consumption of 2.7 gallons/100 miles (37 mpg) when running in range-extending hybrid mode with its gasoline engine. (Earlier post.)

Fisker says that its own analysis suggests that many Karma drivers will actually experience a longer all‑electric range under most every day driving conditions. Research also reveals that more than half of American’s have a daily commute of less than 32 miles, a comfortable distance for the Karma to run in electric-only mode from a single charge.

As with all electric vehicles, range varies greatly on the conditions of the road and how you drive the car. We firmly believe that most owners will get up to 50 miles of driving range on a single charge and will use our electric-only mode most of the time they drive the car, thereby running on zero emissions. Overall, we are very pleased with the results of EPA’s tests. The Karma is a groundbreaking product with a unique powertrain.

—Henrik Fisker, CEO and co-founder of Fisker Automotive.



Dramatically low figures.

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For most drivers the Karma will be more than twice as fuel conserving as the Prius. Most drives will do 12,000 miles per year of which 2,000 miles will be on gasoline consuming 100 gallons at 20 mpg and the remaining 10,000 miles is done consuming electricity. That gives the Karma a practical 120 mpg (=12,000/100) versus the Prius 50 mpg or annual consumption of about 240 gallons of gasoline.

I hope the Karma will sell well and take away sales from the 400 hp gas guzzlers that BMW, Benz, Ferrari etc are making and that can only do about 20 mpg. Fisker has made its first vehicle. Now, I will cross my fingers that they can also scale their production to the 15000 units per year that they are hoping for with the Karma and do it being profitable on each car made.

If Fisker and Tesla are hugely successful they can turn the Luxury market upside down during the next 10 years as their success will force the rest to follow their lead.

Nick Lyons

Way to make the Volt's numbers look good.

Nick Lyons

Fisker really needs to work on that charge-sustaining number for the Nina project.

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Taking a 400 hp car that typically gets 20mpg and changing its drivetrain so that it can now do 120mpg for most drivers is de facto dramatic progress. It makes more sense to judge the Karma’s efficiency in comparison to what it replaces in the real world. The launch of the iPhone S was also deemed disappointing because of people unrealistic expectations of what is possible. My view is that people’s expectations are mostly wishful thinking and that progress can only be judged by what it replaces not what people expect.

The charge sustaining mpg is not that important for the combined mpg. 20pmg is on par with pure gasoline vehicles of the same power so it is good enough.

Longer battery only range is more important in my opinion. Do that by lowering the weight and you will see progress in EV range, acceleration and even the charge sustaining mpg. How to cut weight in battery, electric motor, range extender, power electronics, and chassis and plate work is essential to improved future performance. That is where the R&D will have its highest worth.


Those numbers are very disappointing. Difficult to believe it ended up so inefficient.


We had gas guzzlers and we will now have e-energy guzzlers at 65 Kwh/100 miles. Sooner or latter, somebody will learn how to make much litgher more energy efficient cars to transport (mostly one person) from A to B in relative comfort at acceptable speed.


What part of "luxury" don't you people understand? Luxury is heavy.

They already make EVs for basic commuting, this car is for people who already have BMWs, Bentleys and Mercedes in their garages;


I wonder if you removed one of the rear motors, and make the other drive both wheels, then allow the engine to power the front wheels as a power split hybrid you might get lightly less performance but RE fuel economy should be much better. Might be a better plan for a sedan type car than the sports car that the Karma is. It would also be more likely to be driven over the all electric range more often


"Way to make the Volt's numbers look good."

Because Volt is the best engineered PHEV in production today. Most Volt owners are ecstatic with their vehicle. Many report 200-500MPGe ratings because they bought the vehicle to drive in EV mode. These are the steps needed to awaken the general public to the practicality of EVs.

Yeah it would be nice to see the Fisker get higher CS mileage - but people who buy these cars don't really need to worry about gas cost. They care about new technology and green automobiles. We should be grateful to have ANY buyers of these first generation PH/EVs. I agree with Henrik, a Fisker owner will help lead the rest of the industry down the electrification path.


I'm not sure what this has that a Tesla Roadster doesn't have. Certainly the Tesla has electric range that the Fisker can only dream of, and still gets sparkling performance.

Perhaps Fisker will buy Ecoboost 6's or even 4's from Ford for MY 2014 and the CS numbers will improve a lot.

Roger Pham

It is quite predictable why the Fisker Karma is not as efficient as other vehicles in the 4000-lb class.

It is a serial hybrid with more losses in the conversions of mechanical power to electricity, and then from electricity back to power again. In a parallel hybrid, the electric motors will be less than half the size, when coupled with direct mechanical torque from the motor, without any loss in the conversion. At low loads, the smaller electric motors would be more efficient than doubling the e-motor size.

Only a simple 2-3-speed transmission is needed to transfer power from the engine to the drive train. Only one electric motor is needed, and that motor can sit behind the transmission in order to allow the motor to turn slower at highway cruise and significantly reducing the parasitic drag on the motor. So, the use of only one smaller motor of about 200 hp that turns slower due to gear reduction at cruise can dramatically improve the highway and city gas mileage of the car.

The 260-hp GM 2.0 turbocharged Ecotec engine is very impressive, but can be tuned to run Miller cycle for even higher fuel efficiency. The power will be down to 200 hp running Miller cycle, but combined with a 200 hp motor, still will have a combined 400 hp, same as the current version, but much lighter, due to 1/2 size motor, no generator, and 1/3-size power electronic.

If variable intake valve profile is used (common these days) in conjunction with ethanol injection at high engine loads, no power loss will be experienced even running Miller cycle, and even higher than 260 hp engine output will be available, for a total combined power of over 460 hp...Corvette power territory...Or even Ferrari's acceleration...with the huge combined torque of the e-motor and the engine magnified by the geared transmission.

Roger Pham

After all the above mods, I'll bet that the Fisker Karma can double its hwy and city mpg to above 40 mpg, on gasoline alone. Heck, the gasoline big-bored Corvette 6-liter engine can manage 26 mpg. A 2.0-liter engine Fisker Karma having 20 mpg hwy is a real disservice to the reputation of PHEV's.


I don't think this car meets most definitions for a GREEN car.


Fisker is betting buyers will see more 'green-ness' in the other features of the car. From the website -

"Interior Materials

The components that form the Karma's interior are as unique as they are essential to continuing Fisker's sustainable and accountable design philosophy. Every Karma produced reflects Fisker's dedication to the use of reclaimed, recycled and reusable materials: Wood trim is sourced from reclaimed lumber, seating foam is fashioned from soy-based bio fiber and the carpet backing is created from recycled post-consumer materials.

The Karma EcoStandard features an animal-free interior environment that's tinted a rich shade of black (Black Onyx Monotone) and emulates pure grain leather. The EcoSport's leather comes from the world's first closed-loop leather manufacturing plant. Not only is the leather sourced from farms that abide by the Five Freedoms of Humane Animal Treatment, approximately 85% of the entire hide is used (more than double the amount used by traditional automakers). The Karma EcoChic is the most advanced sustainable trim package available. It features 100% post-industry virgin textile Premium EcoSuede to surround occupants in a lush and sustainable driving environment."

"The Karma's uniquely refined interior wood trim is 100% sustainably sourced from Fallen, Sunken and Rescued Wood™ to ensure that no live growth is ever used. Fallen Wood™ comes from fallen trees in the western United States. Sunken Wood™ has a white oak finish with a beautiful patina, created naturally after resting at the bottom of Lake Michigan for over 300 years. Rescued Wood™ is recovered from trees from wildfires in California."


I was recently looking at a Tesla Roadster, seriously thinking about buying it. It meets and exceeds my requirement for a car to, as its top purpose, give mobility without benefitting OPEC.

After consideration, I could not own a Fisker Karma. The low AER and pathetic fuel economy fall far short of my requirements.

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