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More Fisker Bad News: EPA Calls 20-MPG Karma A Subcompact

 
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2012 Fisker Karma

2012 Fisker Karma

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It's been a tough week for Fisker.

The startup electric-car company finally got its car approved for sale, many months late, only to have the EPA rate its gas mileage at just 20 mpg in range-sustaining mode.

Now, a new wrinkle to those ratings has come out: Based on the volume measurements it uses to allocate cars into different size classes, the EPA calls the 2012 Fisker Karma a "subcompact" (the category for vehicles with 85 to 100 cubic feet of interior space).

That's probably irrelevant to early buyers of the range-extended electric luxury sport sedan, mind you. The EPA could call the Karma a minivan or a tractor, and they'd still be smitten by its sexy lines, the emission-free plug-in travel (for 32 EPA-rated miles), and its performance in Sport mode.

And the Fisker Karma is hardly alone in being bucketed into a non-obvious EPA segment. The 2011 Bentley Continental GTC--which weighs almost 3 tons and whose 6.0-liter turbocharged W-12 produces 550 horsepower--is rated a subcompact as well.

And the Bentley is only rated at 13 mpg combined by the EPA, making the Karma look fuel-efficient even at 20 mpg.

2012 Fisker Karma

2012 Fisker Karma

Enlarge Photo

But the news is the latest in a series of blows Fisker Automotive has taken in very public view.

Right after the EPA ratings for the 2012 Karma came out, the company admitted that volume production of its next car, the "Project Nina" mid-size plug-in sedan, won't begin until mid-2013--though Fisker insists some cars will be built before the end of 2012.

Then a segment by ABC News all but accused it of using U.S. government loans to export jobs to Finland. The real story is a bit more nuanced, as we wrote yesterday.

At this point, we're just wondering if there are more shoes to drop.

Does the Karma also kill baby seals, perhaps?

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Comments (7)
  1. "And the Bentley is only rated at 13 mpg combined by the EPA, making the Karma look fuel-efficient even at 20 mpg."
    Sure it does.
    All the bad news that Fisker has received is of his own making - there are plenty of other lies Fisker spouted that none of those "shoddy journalists" even mentioned. Now that the Volt sales have cratered, even if Fisker defies his own history and actually produces something remotely close to his claims, a range extended vehicle seems unlikely to prosper in the marketplace, given the recent disaster of the Volt. There is no plausible rationale for subsidizing either Fisker's $100K car or his "affordable" car. I'd love to hear an argument defending this ripoff of the taxpayers. Crony capitalism doesn't work.
     
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  2. @Ramon: Please list those "plenty of other lies" here, with linked sources. This journalist is happy to follow up if you can back up your assertions, which you rarely seem to ...
     
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  3. Glad to see I'm not the only one that has never had faith in Fisker and predicted what would happened after the 2012 elections: Fisker Failure.
     
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  4. Ramon, are you under the impression that if you keep telling the same lies about the Volt, they'll magically come true?
    There are plenty of valid arguments for targeted subsidies, but alas, they would be lost on you, anywauy, if you still can't figure out the Volt "sales problem" numbers by now. You're a person to whom facts are never relevant, anyway.
     
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  5. I'm starting to suspect that there are corporations (big oil at the top of the list) that hire and pay people to post misinformation such as Ramon's email. There really can't be that much ignorance out there, can there?

    I hope Fisker gets there act together. The car is beautiful and a great idea. I hope they don't make bad decisions and ruin the company.
     
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  6. It's sad that Fisker and Tesla are becoming the poster children for attacks on the current administration. We need their technology and the loans were miniscule compared to those given to GM, Nissan, and Ford. There's lots of misinformation flying around. Lets hope Fisker pulls off the Nina and I'm pretty confident Tesla will be able to kill with the Model S.
     
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  7. @Grendal: For the record, GM did not take any DoE low-interest loans, unlike Ford, Nissan, Tesla, and Fisker. In fact, it withdrew its applications: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1054391_gm-says-more-government-money-not-needed--though-rivals-took-it
     
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