While Tesla has been wowing the press and early buyers with the Model S Beta, Fisker has started production on its much-delayed Karma sedan. The Karma has seen numerous delays since its introduction, as well as an increase in price. It was supposed to debut before the Volt, but you see how that worked out…..anyway, we digress. Today the company has announced an official mileage certification from the Environmental Protection Agency.
This is an important milestone because it means that Fisker can start selling vehicles. We thought Fisker delivered some before, and it turns out those aren’t actual sales, they have been referred to as demonstration vehicles. This was able to be done since in late July one was delivered to a Fisker board member. While the EPA news is an important milestone, it is also a disappointment as well.
The Karma’s certification is for just 52 MPGe. That figure is down significantly on the 100 MPGe number Fisker originally projected for the Karma. The low figure is down to the fact that the EPA’s testing netted an electric range of just 32 miles. Fisker says that it thinks customers will see better figures in real life driving.
In fact, Fisker projects that if a Karma driver has a daily commute of 40 miles on average, they would use only 9 gallons of gas per month. When the battery runs out though, the Karma’s figures take a huge hit – returning only 20 mpg from its 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder. Ouch. The Chevrolet Volt fares much better in this regard.
News about the Karma’s rating will no doubt bolster critics of the Department of Energy’s $528.7 million loan to Fisker for development of the Karma and the forthcoming Project NINA. We doubt it will matter to most people buying the Karma though; they want something cool and trendy and the Karma is it. The Karma is no doubt “greener” than other sedans in its price range as well, so for some it will have a powerful allure. Fisker says production of the $97,000 sedan is ramping up and deliveries are scheduled to accelerate throughout the rest of the year.