Fisker Automotive, the Irvine, California based start-up auto company is certainly creating waves these days, even though it has been reported that full production of the Karma will not occur until February 2011, later than expected. Fisker recently announced that they have secured an additional $189 million in capital. In addition, the company secured a $529 million loan in April from the Department of Energy to support its first vehicle, the Karma, an extended range plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and the development of a more family oriented model codenamed Project NINA.
Those of you who have seen a glimpse of the Karma know that it is a gorgeous vehicle. The car is wrapped in an aluminum space frame. According to Russell Datz, the Director of Public Relations at Fisker, the Karma is a car that “evokes passion for performance and style that made us fall in love with cars.” The Karma is targeted at buyers of the Aston Martin Rapide, the Maserati Quattroporte, and the BMW 7-Series. I have viewed the Karma up close at recent auto shows, but have yet to take one out for a test drive. For now, I’ll have to reserve Ferris Bueller’s statement, “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up” for after the test drive.
Production of the Karma has been outsourced to Valmet Automotive in Finland to lower overhead costs. Production of the Project NINA car will take place at a former GM plant in Wilmington, Delaware. It is anticipated that the plant will employ 2,000 assembly workers.
It looks like the EV and PHEV market is growing. The price points of the cars available or soon to be available provide something for everyone, much like 31 flavors at Baskin Robbins.