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.
In advance of the Frankfurt Auto Show next week, details are leaking out about the plug-in hybrid and all-electric (or battery electric if you prefer) vehicles that will be showcased there. Automakers from Asia to Europe to North America are busy trying to outdo each other with promises of fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
Hyundai, Mercedes, Fisker, Peugot and others will be in Germany, touting electric vehicles due to go on sale within the next few years. Most automakers are hedging their bets by promising both PHEVs and EVs at some point in the future.
But the hype around plug-ins so far has been greater than EVs for good reason — there will be a wider selection of models, and they are likely to sell in far greater quantities through the first half of the 2010’s than battery-electrics. PHEVs will sell because they will sufficiently address consumer expectations in the key areas of performance at a substantially reduced cost.