2009 Fisker KarmaEnlarge Photo
California-based Fisker Automotive was recently awarded a $529 million government loan from the DOE to be used for the design and production of plug-in cars. Most of the funds are earmarked towards what Fisker is calling its Nina program.
Nina refers to one of Christopher Columbus' ships and is symbolic of our hope for freedom from oil.
Details on the Nina program are sparse and preliminary, because the name is more about the development program and not the actual name of the vehicle. We do know its Fisker's goal to price the car at $ 39,000 after a $7,500 tax credit.
I had the chance to ask Fisker spokesperson Marti Eulberg some questions about Nina.
"Nina is the project name for a family oriented, user friendly plug-in hybrid featuring cutting edge technology, radical styling and world-class quality," said Euslberg
It seems likely Fisker already has some significant design development underway, but perhaps no sold models. However, we are going to have to wait a while before seeing any of them. "We are not currently releasing designs," he said.
The car will use lithium ion batteries for energy storage. Like the Karma, the new vehicle will also source its batteries from Indiana-based EnerDel (NASDAQ: HEV).
Fisker will be using level 2 or 240 Volt home chargers built by Lear.
The Karma is utilizing an extended-range electric architecture wherein the car is always powered by the electric motor, and can deliver up to 50 all electric miles, with the gas range extender going on after that.
For the Nina, Eulberg says the car will be a PHEV and not a pure EV. Whether an EREV or not we do not know. Eulberg says "at this point it is too early to provide electric/fuel range."