Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fisker Karma

Yesterday's post was unexpectedly controversial, so today being car day we get some light relief in the form of another plug-in hybrid which impinged on my consciousness yesterday.

A company called Fisker Coachbuild claims its 4-seat sports sedan, the Fisker Karma, due out in 2010, will do 50 miles on battery power, after which a “small” gasoline engine will charge the battery. They make a lot of rather doubtful claims about the car, and it is difficult to see how they would have the wherewithal to develop such a car so quickly. The powertrain is being developed by a company called Quantum Technologies, an unprofitable but growing public company (Stock symbol QTWW) with 2006 revenues of under $200 million.

There is no indication where the chassis technology will come from. Fisker also claim that they will “initially” produce 15,000 a year at $80,000 a pop, which would suggest revenues of $1.2 billion. Compare Toyota at $200 billion to see how unlikely this scenario is.

But it gets worse; the reason I became aware of Fisker is because it is being sued by Tesla for stealing trade secrets. It is actually quite a good story; see

By the way, Click and Clack of Car Talk fame will be driving the Tesla and other green vehicles in an upcoming Nova program, which I think will be aired next Tuesday on most public television stations.

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