2012 Fisker Karma Owners Average 150 MPG, Company Says

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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 ...


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Comments (16)
  1. @ John V,

    Actually Volt owners can find out their "MPG" rating from their onstar fuel efficiency page. Many Volt owners are in the 600mpg range... So, this number by Karma is really nothing to be proud of. My Volt has over 4,900 miles and only 28.7 gallon of gas used, that is a MPG over 170. If I stop letting my wife drive it (who has a 200 miles trip), my MPG will be easily in the 250 range....

    If Volt owners are truly "electric" about 63% of the time. Then its MPG are easily in the 3 digits range.

    For John Briggs, I know those "mpg" numbers ignore the electricity usage. But just for "apple" to "apple" comparison between Volt and Karma....

  2. The Fisker Karma is not an energy efficient vehicle any way you look at it.

    What Fisker didn't tell you, and Voelcker failed to mention, is that the Karma takes dramatically more electricity per mile then the Chevy Volt. Thus the Karma is the EV equivalent of a Hummer. In fact the Karma has the worst consumption of any electric vehicle on the market, by far.

    The high MPG numbers quoted are completely fictitious. Considering the method they are using, the number can read INFINITY mpg under many conditions. Also something Voelcker failed to mention.

    These numbers don't relate in any way to EPA MPG or MPGe or anything at all. Perhaps we can call them MPGf (for fictitious). For that matter, let's not call them MPG.

  3. Agree, calculating MPG this way is not a measure of efficiency. Efficiency is total output divide by total input.

    For a PHEV efficiency would be (miles Gas + miles EV) / (gals Gas + kW Electric / 33.7)
    where 33.7 is kW energy in a gal of gas. Ignoring some of energy used to travel doesn't make any vehicle more efficient. It would be like a neibor adding a gal, or two of gas when you're not looking and discovering your MPG increased.

    The only way to compare MPG values of vehicles is if miles driven on each fuel type are the same distance. (or, if a seperate MPGe is calculated for each fuel type)

    Nothing against Karma or Volt drivers; their calcs do prove one thing… how far on average they travel before pumping a gal of gas.

  4. I think the more appropriate metric for Volt, Karma, and PiP drivers is %EV miles. I would be very impressed to hear someone travels 95% (for example) of their miles on electricity alone.

    The MPG calculations that ignore the contribution of electricity are grossly misleading and disingenuous.

    BTW, perhaps the "KW" in your comment should be "KWH".

  5. It's amazing that a car built from the ground up could end up so flawed. I can't believe how over weight the car is, and for it's size why are the rear seats so cramped. I sat in the back seat of a Karma, my head was up against the ceiling and the seat made me feel as though I was sitting on a parcel shelf in the back of a two seat super car. I didn't think the touch screen was too bad, it was just frustratingly slow and I caught myself looking at the screen too often in traffic to be safe. I think Fisker Automotive's problem is it's foundation, being started by a designer who's goal was to build a glamorous hybrid for stars attending red carpet events isn't exactly a brilliant starting point.

  6. I agree.

    I seriously think Karma is "bad design". In terms of the price, you are almost better off buying a $60K Tesla S and a $40K Volt for the price of 1 Karma...

  7. After paying the $106,000, you get free gremlins that fill up your gas tank every night. Thus making you think you got 175 mpg.

  8. I have over 2000 miles on my Karma and have used less than 1 pint of gasoline. My daily driving is about 25 to 30 miles total and I have never run out of electrons. My MPG is essentially infinity. I get thumbs up from random strangers at intersections every day. I have had so many parking lot conversations about the car that I have lost count. I love the Fisker Karma. My high school age kids fit in the back seat just fine... they are normal sized kids. There are over 1000 Karmas on the round.
    This company has vision. Environmentalists need to support visionaries.
    My energy dollars are going to my local electric company and not the Saudi Royal Family.

  9. If you only drive 25-30 miles, then you could have saved the money and buy a Tesla S sedan AND have the change to buy a Volt, Prius, Jetta Diesel....etc.

  10. I was very interested in the S. How many Model S sedans have been delivered so far? Fisker delivered first in the luxury submarket. I am actually very interested in the Model X SUV.
    And the Karma is range extended. I can drive 300 miles if needed with no range anxiety. Green car enthusiasts: please support these revolutionaries. Tesla, Fisker, Nissan, Chevy. This is what we have been dreaming about since we watched Who Killed The Electric Car?

  11. In my experience, most people support Fisker's vision. It is the execution that is being criticized.

  12. Most of those people are overly impressed with the solar panel, the tiny amount of reclaimed wood, and the recycled glass in the paint. His design and recycled tinsel can't hide the poor engineering from all of us.

  13. It's getting really old to hear the Volt owners and now Fisker owners claiming they get 100Mpg or 200mpg+. The numbers are meaningless and just go to show they could have gone with a 100% EV instead!

  14. Actually, My so called fake "mpg" is 176. 4996 miles with 28.4 gallon burned.

    In all of those instances where gas is consumed, the trip was more than 120 miles. So, unless you are telling me to get a Tesla S which other EV currently can get me those range in those trips?

    Sure, you will tell me to get a Prius on top of the EV... My Volt is way cheaper than the compbination of the two. Not to mention the extra insurance.

  15. I hate the MPG numbers as well, but I love the Volt and its EREV technology. It makes it possible to drive daily on electricity and long trips on gasoline in one vehicle. Volt owners are displacing massive amounts of gasoline and its associated pollution.

  16. Also, I am "saving" up for the $30k Tesla assuming it can break the 150 mile range limitation...

    But before that is ready, Volt is by far the "most practical" EV solution today.

    Also, if you look at all the Leaf owners, most of them drive less than 40 miles per day as well, which is perfectly well within Volt's range and they don't have to have second car to worry about longer range. Not to mention that Volt comes with battery warranty and better battery design with heating/cooling.

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