Fisker To Fill Most Karma Pre-Orders In 2011

By Danny King September 29, 2011

Karma Deliveries.jpg

Fisker Automotive says it will fill most of the advance orders for 3,000 range-extended plug-in hybrid Karma sport sedan (above) by the end of the year. The Southern California company also said that the cars could be certified to meet federal and state emissions standards by the end of the week. The company, which has gained publicity of late by identifying early celebrity owners such as actor Leonardo DiCaprio and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, earlier this month started delivering cars to European dealers and customers.

"We are currently on schedule to fill the majority of the 3,000 advance deposit holder orders by the end of the year," Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher told AutoObserver, adding that the company is expecting U.S. emissions certification "within the next couple of days." As of last week, 200 of the approximately $100,000 Karmas were sitting in storage, awaiting air quality certification by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. The initial delivery date for the Karma has been rescheduled at least four times since the September 2010 deadline company co-founder and chief executive Henrik Fisker set for first deliveries. The company cannot begin selling the cars in the U.S. until the agencies certify that they meet federal and state emissions standards.

The Karma uses a 402-horsepower, all-electric drivetrain and a grid-charged battery pack augmented by an on-board gasoline engine that serves as a power generator to keep the electric motor running after the battery pack is depleted. The car, which can travel up to 300 miles on its charged 20 kilowatt-hour battery and one tank of gas for the generator, has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $95,900 and can cost more than $110,000 in various trim levels.

Fisker, which has secured a $529 million federal advanced technology vehicle program loan and more than $600 million in private financing, next year will start building its Nina line of plug-in cars, which will include a sedan, coupe and crossover utility vehicle, with pricing expected to start around $48,000. The company earlier this month also unveiled a crossover version of the Karma at the Frankfurt Auto Show and said the model -- dubbed the "Surf" -- will be available to the public for the 2013 model year, the same year as the Nina.

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