Auto Show picture of concept Fisker Karma S

Auto Show picture of concept Fisker Karma S

In the world of electric performance cars, there are two names to know: Fisker and Tesla. The man behind the upcoming $87,900 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sports sedan wants you to know the difference. Seasoned auto designer and CEO of Fisker Coachbuild, Henrik Fisker has an enviable résumé for any car enthusiast. He designed the Aston Martin DB9, V8 Vantage and the BMW Z8 to name a few.

Now he's set his sights on making an environmentally friendly sports car, but it's not only the look of his new creation that he believes will set it apart from the competition. “The full-electric car [a la Tesla] is a niche market. Plug-in hybrids have a much bigger market,” said Fisker at a meeting of the Western Automotive Journalists association. The potential growth of the plug-in hybrid market is what Fisker believes has helped him raise the venture capital for his upcoming vehicles.

Like Tesla, Fisker plans to mass market a lower cost model at some point in the future. "There’s no reason we can’t eventually produce hundreds of thousands of cars a year," Fisker said. Right now though, he says his company will achieve profitability after only 5,000 sales of the more expensive Karma.

Plug-in hybrids don't have the range anxiety issues that are inhibiting mass adoption of full-electric vehicles, which is clearly an advantage to Fisker. As for competition from other, similar plug-ins like the Chevy Volt, Henrik isn't concerned. "It's a Chevy," he says. Let's hope GM doesn't take offense to that remark. It's the General that's supplying Fisker with the 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec engine to recharge the batteries in his hybrid after its 50-mile all-electric range runs out.

Source: Hybrid Cars