Fisker Karma hybrid car becomes example of failed U.S. environmental policy

The Karma was once the future, now it’s trying to stay on the road

Bad Karma

Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

When the Fisker Karma debuted in 2008, its stunning design and innovative plug-in hybrid drivetrain were heralded as the future of America’s automotive industry. Today, the company is on the brink of bankruptcy after selling fewer than 2,000 cars worldwide.

Last week, Fisker missed a $10-million loan payment to the U.S. government—it had been approved for a $529-million loan in 2009, and had received $192 million before being cut off—and the company is now being held up by critics as an example of the Obama administration’s failed green policies. At a hearing before Congress, conservatives accused the administration of making a rash and risky bet on Fisker and its untested technology.

Indeed, when Karmas landed on showroom floors in 2011, they were riddled with defects, and several needed their batteries recalled. And at $100,000, they were roughly the same price as a Porsche 911, which doesn’t need to be pulled over to be recharged.


Fisker Karma hybrid car becomes example of failed U.S. environmental policy

  1. Battery cars are probably riskier than thought. So would want to spread the same amount on a few other equal $$ investments. Instead of cars, maybe farm equipment, forklifts, mine eqipment, foreign space agencies, buses, motorcycles…would get a couple of successess that might port to vehicles.
    Recyclable (by simple melt) thermoplastics car parts already exist but the city or regional recycle chains still need work. The fractions of plastics that due turn out to be a simple melt and re-(press or extrusion or whatever) might not meet safety performance so non-recylable coverings or plating may be necessary. Ideally the market forces would enable heating and transport fuel alternatives. Using oil works for a lot of wind turbine components and solar. Somehow the oil interests should own this generation capacity, and the company owners would eventually spawn intelligent stewarts of the family fortune.

  2. These battery cars would never gone too far, batteries is always been an issue. Many of these cars have been recalled in the past few years due to some defects. And I think there are more reasons that people don’t really buy these things.

    • …spoken from experience I see ?

  3. “…and at $100,000, they were roughly the same price as a Porsche 911..” ???

    and therein lies the real facts as to why they are going under, along with Tesla Motors.

    An electric car can far outlast any ICE.

    I’ve seen electric-forklifts that are well over 30 years old and running 16 hours/day 7 days a week in warehouses everywhere.

    The problem is nobody has the GUTS to take on the Big-3 and simply build an inner-city electric-commuter for a paltrey $18k each (at tops).

    You people just don’t get it.

    It’s the BIG Oil powers that do NOT want a succerssful EV, because they would ALL louse their shirts overnite – worldwide, especially Albertans -oh myyyy :)

    • “… in warehouses…”

      Thus not out under the sun and rain, exposed to wind, salt, and road dust like real cars are.

      And travelling at how many Km/h?

    • Considering that the car uses a similar technology to the Chevy volt, that is battery electric with gas engine feeding a generator for unlimited range as long as there is gas in the tank, but at a price 2.5X higher than the volt, and a build quality inferior to the Chevy, no wonder they are broke. For that price, you can’t afford to have any defects. Chevy has none on the volt, and even when there was a perceived defect with the battery housing that resulted in 1 fire 3 weeks after a crash test, GM bent over backwards, and fixed a problem that would probably never happen in the real world.
      I drive a volt, and would buy another in a second. It ride is Cadillac quality, and when the Caddy version arrives at dealers this year, the details in finish will be all Caddilac, and that truly will be a luxury extended range EV, and it will still be 40 grand less than the problem ridden Fiskar.

  4. i have a question… take the Karma give it an ‘ordinary powertrain’ like that of a bmw 550i or 540d…. how much will that sale for, and would u buy it?