Fisker begins selling Karma

Fisker received its EPA certification for the Karma plug-in hybrid and commenced sales of the near $100K sport sedan.

Fisker Karma
The 2012 Fisker Karma went on sale this week. Fisker

After getting the Karma's EPA certification, Fisker began sales of the new plug-in hybrid car this week, with a starting price of $95,900.

When Fisker Automotive said it would bring a new, innovative car to market using plug-in hybrid technology, it looked like an exciting yet risky proposition. But the years between that announcement and this week's availability of the Fisker Karma to the public have seen the launch of the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt and the pure-electric Nissan Leaf , taking away some of the Karma's thunder.

And compared with those cars, the Karma isn't looking too hot on the fuel economy front. EPA testing for the Karma gave it 32 miles of pure electric range, 52 mpg-equivalent when running on electricity, and 20 mpg when using gasoline. The Volt achieved 93 mpg-equivalent and the Leaf 106 mpg-equivalent.

However, the Karma is a completely different class of vehicle, a luxury sports car that can hit 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. Those who can afford the near $100K for the car might not be inclined to drive around in a Nissan or a Chevy, no matter the fuel economy.

Given that the distance from the Hollywood Hills to Sunset Boulevard is only about 5 miles, a Karma-owning celeb would never need to stop at a gas station.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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