Fisker: Affordable “Project Nina” Plug-in Hybrids Due By 2013

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Its first mass-produced car may have won the acrimonious title of being the plug-in car with the worst fuel efficiency to date, but Californian automaker Fisker is trying to remain upbeat about its planned range of plug-in hybrid cars. 

So much so, the Californian automaker is keen to let everyone know that it will start production of its range of plug-in cars based on the technology found in the Fisker Karma, by 2013.

Talking with The Detroit News, Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher reiterated that the majority of Fisker’s half a billion dollars of Department of Energy loans isn’t being spent on its 52 MPGe plug-in luxury hybrid.

Instead, the money has gone towards helping Fisker tool up a a former GM plant in Delaware, as well as develop the various body styles that it has promised Project Nina will offer. 

First of these, a mid-size luxury sedan, will be expected to enter production before 2013, with full-scale production -- some 75,000 to 100,000 cars per year -- happening by mid 2013. 

Unlike the Fisker Karma Plug-in Series Hybrid, which uses a General-Motors sourced gasoline range-extending engine, the drivetrain in Project Nina will make use of a BMW-sourced four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine.

Just like the Fisker Karma however, all Project Nina cars will still operate as plug-in series hybrids, meaning there will be no mechanical connection between the gasoline engine and the wheels. 

The other cars, the details of which Vice President Joe Biden blurted out nearly two years ago, will follow the mid-size sedan into production.


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Comments (4)
  1. What happened to that "affordable Nina" car? For Fisker, I guess that term is somewhat fuzzy. Maybe he means "affordable" as in anything priced more than $10,000 less than the Karma. I notice that, gee, what a coincidence, Fisker just happened to select
    an old GM plant in Biden's hometown. Not that that had anything to do with the DOE loan, of course. Oh, no, this administration would never let personalities get in the way of good solid, impartial decisions.

  2. Lobbying is an accepted part of politics. I look at it as legalized bribery. However, in this case I think it makes a lot of sense. Fisker anticipates exporting to Europe and how many car manufacturing plants are there for sale anyway? Do you have another plant in mind that is better, cheaper and somehow deliberately passed up by Fisker in order to increase their costs?

  3. I think Fisker intends to bracket the Tesla Model S with a more expensive Karma and a cheaper Nina. Model S is supposed to start at about $57k. If the Nina has a more expensive 4-cylinder motor, the same UQM electric motor (one of instead of two) and the same batteries from A123, I don't see how it will be much cheaper than the Karma even with volume purchasing.

  4. @Roy, very good points, but getting Ramon to respond will prove impopssible. He prefers the drive-by method of character assassination and the fact that Fisker had limited options at the time does not matter to him as facts just get in the way.
    It's the same as those whining about Solyndra when most non-government owned solar companies have met the sdame fate due to Chinese dumping. When the govt. investment fails, it's the govt.'s fault, but when private companies facing the same situation fail one after another, somehow that gets ignored.
    But please, Ramon, tell us where Fisker should have bought and one solar company similar to Solyndra that's doing well now.

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