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Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by vfx, Oct 15, 2007.
Looks very good indeed!
That front hood ("nose") seems excessively long to me.
Also, the width (at nearly 80") would be bothersome when all you can find are compact parking spaces (but this sort of vehicle will probably be valet parked much of the time).
I wish they had a bit more "cab forward" going on with the design.
But, still, it is a sexy looking vehicle, and is about in line with what I was thinking Whitestar would look like. Is this turning out to be the "Whitestar killer"? I had been wondering if Tesla was somehow involved with this vehicle, but it doesn't appear that they have had anything to do with it.
I wonder if Tesla has anything to say about the introduction of this vehicle? It sure would seem to be encroaching on their business plan.
I wonder what they consider the "MPG" or "MPGE" for this?
With plug-in capability the MPGE would vary depending on how much you actually plug it in. I am not sure how they will handle that fact when trying to put EPA MPG ratings on the factory sticker.
The car looks more like a green version of the Maserati Quattroporte costing $112,200. Comments on the blogs say the car is INEXPENSIVE at $80k. Makes you wonder if whitestar will be able to meet it's original $50k target (there are hints that the whitestar will be closer to 60-70k). Maybe Tesla should increase it's size and sell it for a higher price, like the fisker. A side note: the Fisker has a high powered four cylinder as it's generator.
What Fisker has on its side is that the Karma is intended to be a low volume car, and thus the $80k tag is quite reasonable even if the size is closer to a m5. However, Tesla is planning larger volume for the Whitestar, so it hits a price like $60-70 (80?)k then it will likely lose to the Karma.
The Karma has a great impact on the future of the Whitestar, I'm glad this car got brought up.
Fisker has stated an annual production of 15,000 cars. As I recall Tesla had indicated around 10,000 for the Whitestar. Of course only time will tell if Fisker can get anywhere close to their number.
As I mentioned above currently this looks like the earliest and closest I'll get to a Whitestar spec'ed vehicle any time soon, too bad it's out of my league. Hopefully they'll consider a cheapo version at around $50 soon
I've not seen anything on this one, do you have a source for that?
On that we agree, this will probably stop price and feature creep for the possible Whitestar, i.e. they need a significantly cheaper car or be able to beat the Fisker as a REEV at their price point.
Woops, sorry, I read 99 cars at autoblog, but that was referring to the signed cars (sort of like the signature 100 roadsters). I looked back at some articles and it was 15,000 cars for 2009. So you are right.
Autoblog mentions: "The Karma is powered by what's being called Q-DRIVE, a system developed by Quantum Technologies that combines a four-cylinder engine sending power to a generator to propel the four-door sedan."
Detroit 2008: Fisker Karma draws a crowd, impresses - Autoblog
Jalopnik mentions: "A true lithium-ion plug-in hybrid, the electrical system is good for 50 miles of electric-only driving in stealth mode. Otherwise, the second mode of the hybrid system involves a performance-oriented four cylinder engine."
Detroit Auto Show: Fisker Karma Luxury Hybrid, Only $80,000
Other numbers include 5.8 sec 0-60, 125mph top speed, but I think this was mentioned before.
Jalopnik has photos of the interior. . .
Seats look okay. The dash and steering wheel, to me, are a failure. I couldn't even figure out how to read those gauges, and the last thing I want is a bunch of controls on the steering wheel. That's where the horn should be, and nothing else.
Autobloggreen took pics at the Detroit show:
That hood has such (unpleasent) sharp lines down the middle.
And those door window buttons look 70's retro.
Very good. Solar roof is frivolous. Interior is disturbing.
Don't think it kills Whitestar, but really throws down a much needed design challenge to Tesla on styling, kerb weight, all-electric range and fuel economy.
I don't think this in itself is going to be a Whitestar killer, but it clearly shows what kind of vehicle you can get as a sporty sedan hybrid. If the Whitestar remains a pure BEV they might hit a different part of the market.
The important question the way I see it is when will they start selling in Europe?
Tesla had become so vocal recently saying that "range extended EVs" are a good thing and that they consider them basically just EVs with a fallback plan for long trips.
It seems they did a good job of telling possible Whitestar customers that they approve of the Fisker concept. Ordinarily I would have thought the Tesla angle would have been to criticize the Fisker for being compromised (still has an ICE), but they seemed to toss out that trump card just in time for Fisker to take the stage.
There are at least a 6 of those Chevy commercials with Wayne Wilderson ("Bill" the WaMU guy) teaching kids about their green cars.
Maybe like Jobs bringing Apple from the ashes Martin could pull a Phoenix for GM.
Very impressive indeed.
It's a strong beautiful design statement. compared to the more simple conservative Roadster it has is more aggressive in the character department.
So to speculate the Karma VS the unseen Whitestar, If Tesla makes a similar gas powered battery system then they will certainly have their hands full competing against this beautiful car.
If the Whitestar design goes bland compared to the Karma then they have to make it up on price.
But if the Whitestar goes full E then the cars are in a different enough class that comparisons are much harder even if prices are similar.
A gasoline motor in the Whitestar now competes it with the Karma and the Volt, and a handful of other prototypes waiting in the wings. They loose that "E"ttribute that no large automaker touching.
There is a fork in the road. If Tesla turns to the gas-powered right and looses the focus and the promise the company was founded on, then they will find that road leads to an abyss they can never return from.
As I've said a few times before they will in many ways loose their USP with a REEV Whitestar but currently there is room between the Volt and the Karma. About $50 000 seperates the two, and not to mention the styling on both the Volt concept (which of course will be drasticly changed) and the Karma are pretty aggressive designs. With a much more subdued design they might hit a different segment.
Speaking of the Karma, I'm a bit curious about the two-mode system, does this mean I can't get full accel without using the ICE engine ? And a 4 cyl high-power engine sounds like a lot of exhaust when it does start up.
Still a pure BEV version of the Whitestar makes so much more sense, especially since Tesla most likely will have to buy the ICE parts anyway from a regular carcompany and there goes their margin...
Fisker tidbits here:
Green Car Advisor - Detroit Show: Fisker's $80,000 Good Karma
"Fisker and Niedzwiecki would't divulge details about the battery pack except to say it uses real automotive-quality lithium-ion cells and isn't a series of wired-together laptop cells as is the case with Tesla Motorcars' upcoming battery-electric roadster."
"Like the so-called range-extended electric systems shown last year by General Motors in its Chevrolet Volt concept and Ford Motor Co. in its Hy-Motion concept, the Fisker system uses its conventional engine only as a generator to produce juice for the batteries and rear-mounted electric motor that propels the car.
Fisker said he expects the Karma to deliver up to 350 miles on a tank of gas as the engine cycles on and off during long trips as it charges the batteries and then shuts down until they are depleted again."
What exactly "stealth" vs "sport" does isn't clear, but the suggestion that "stealth mode" is more quiet makes me think it is the EV only mode.
If turning on the ICE/generator offers better performance than that suggests that the eMotor is current limited by the battery pack and the motor controller can pass along some of the generator current when it is running.
I haven't seen many details published about their drivetrain, but I will speculate it might be like this:
(American made, probably GM or Ford) inline 4 under the front hood coupled to a generator where a conventional car would normally have a transmission.
Long row of Li-Ion batteries in the gap between the seats where a driveshaft would go in a conventional RWD vehicle. An AC motor in back attached to some sort of differential (driving the rear wheels).
For ranger used the rear eMotor/RWD.
EV1 used a battery tray down the center like this.
Since Fisker is still keeping the Karma details under wraps, I am going to speculate some possible ballpark numbers.
I suspect that the vehicle weighs at least 4000lbs even though it uses light technology (like Aluminum body).
I suspect that the eMotor is even more powerful than the one in the Roadster. To get 0-60 in under 6 with a vehicle that heavy I would guess that the eMotor could make 300hp.
I am going to guess that it has a 4 cyl all aluminum inline 4 ICE that can make 150hp. When you use that to turn a generator, create DC, invert it to AC, and such with losses you are down closer to 100hp to the wheels just from the ICE.
I would guess (based on comments that Stealth mode doesn't offer full performance) that the batteries can only provide enough current to make 200hp when the generator isn't running.
I am going to guess Valence, AltairNano or Saft for the batteries.
(All of this is just wild speculation... I could be completely wrong).
$80-100K? For you number crunchers, what would the economies of scale of a GM or Chrysler do if one of the majors were to produce this beautiful car?
It just seems logical to me that a Ford or Chrysler buy, or at least license the technology here because the old model business plan isn't working. What do they have to lose?
The venture capital folks of Silicon Valley in their quest for the next big thing have made a decision to get in the "electric car" business, on the premise that a small, innovative, creative, agile company can out maneouver the clumsy giants of the industry.
In the meantime everyone is holding their breath to see who comes out of vapor ware mode first with a real car that actually gets built in reasonable numbers and is delivered to real customers.
We could almost call it the battle of the vapor ware between a few potential manufacturers.
"We could almost call it the battle of the vapor ware between a few potential manufacturers."
The VCs have placed thier bets.
Aaaaaaannnnnnddddd......The great 21st century Vapor race has begun!
Sometimes I wonder if the VCs are actually funding this more for fun and egos than for expectations of great returns. The business case still seems really shaky here.