Henrik FiskerEnlarge Photo
The same day Consumer Reports released its devastating review of the 2012 Fisker Karma, the makers of the range-extended electric luxury sedan put out their own press release.
Covering the $106,000 car's fuel economy, it reported on the real-world gas mileage achieved by a group of more than 30 Karma owners.
According to the release, the group averaged 150 mpg from the combination of plugging in the car--its electric range is rated by the EPA at 32 miles--and using the range-extending gasoline engine after the battery is depleted on longer trips.
Over 5,500 miles of driving, Fisker said, one Karma driver achieved 57 mpg--which included weekend trips of more than 300 miles.
On the other end, several reported more than 200 mpg of real-world efficiency.
What does 175 mpg actually mean? For one owner, it meant using just 20 gallons of gasoline over 3,500 miles.
It's a small sample, for sure, out of roughly 2,000 Karmas built (as far as we know, since Fisker won't give production or sales figures).
But it underscores the experience of Chevrolet Volt owners, who can also plug in frequently and then use the gasoline engine as a backup once they exceed the car's 38-mile electric range.
Several Volt owners have grumbled that their in-dash display can only show a maximum of 250 mpg.
Fisker also noted that the 2025 fuel-economy requirement for a vehicle the size of the Karma is 45.6 mpg.
Under the test cycles used to calculate corporate average fuel economy--which differ considerably from those for the EPA window sticker--the Karma already achieves 47.3 mpg.
In other words, it meets the more stringent standards that will be required in 13 years, today.
We think that's great, and wish that more makers could say the same thing.
Now, then, about those quality issues and electronic glitches ...