Fisker Charges Ahead

One of the seemingly favorite pastimes of people who are well entrenched in the traditional auto industry is to deride those companies who are less, well, vintage.

One of the seemingly favorite pastimes of people who are well entrenched in the traditional auto industry is to deride those companies who are less, well, vintage. Like Fisker Automotive, the company that produces extended-range electric vehicles (the 2.0-liter GM engine is connected to a 175-kW generator that charges the 180-kW lithium-ion battery that then provides the power for the two 201.5-hp electric traction motors) that are both gorgeous and expensive (starting MSRP for the Karma is $102,000).

The critics maintain that the nontrad car companies simply can’t make it.

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2012 Fisker Karma

Which probably explains why Fisker and Telsa are based on the West Coast, not Detroit.

While there is something to be said about the enormous challenge that these nascent companies face, weren’t drivers of Henry Ford’s products told to “Get a horse”?

Anyway, this week Fisker released its “inaugural business update.” The company says that for the first four months of 2012, its revenues have exceeded $100-million. It isn’t clear what its expenses are, however.

In addition to which, it has secured $174-million of additional private funding, which means that since the company was launched in 2007, it has raised more than $1-billion in financing. Clearly, some people are betting something is going to happen in a positive way to their investments.

It began delivering its Karma in December 2011. So far it has shipped 1,000 vehicles.

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Fisker Atlantic Prototype

Tom LaSorda, CEO of Fisker Automotive and former Chrysler and GM exec, said, “We are very encouraged by solid demand for the Karma, our unique extended-range luxury model. Pending completion of investment sourcing, we are poised to press ahead with further market expansion and developing of our higher-volume model, the Fisker Atlantic.”

Yes, there is that pesky word pending.

Still, companies like Fisker make this industry interesting, if nothing else.