Remember earlier today when I said that Jeep was showing the only non-GM range extended electric vehicle at the Detroit show….well, I was only half right. Fisker, a high performance auto manufacturer just unveiled their first production car, a plug-in hybrid called the “Karma.” The car can run 50 miles on pure electric power, and only then switches over to become a regular hybrid.
So while it's not technically a REEV (because the internal combustion engine powers the wheels in addition to the electric motors), it does have an extended, all-electric range, which gives you the same advantages of an REEV. That advantage, in particular, is the car's ability to be a zero-emissions vehicle on most short trips.
The difference is that, because there are two drivetrains, the car is of course going to be expensive, around $80,000. Of course, Fisker was never going to make cheap cars. It’s not just the hybrid drive that keeps the cost high. It’s also the solar panels on the roof, the limited edition styling, 6-second zero to sixty time and the 125 mph top speed.
Fisker hopes to sell more than 10,000 Karmas per year following their Q4 2009 launch of vehicle sales. However, if the record of high-end EV maker Tesla is any indication, their goals may be a bit optimistic.
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