Score one for Fisker: the EPA has finished testing the Karma, which means the extended-range electric super sedan now has EPA-certified fuel economy numbers and can now be sold in the United States.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 2012 Karma has an all-electric range of 32 miles from its on-board battery pack, during which the car gets the equivalent of 52 miles per gallon. Should the range-extending engine come on-board to provide power, a Fisker spokesperson tells GreenCarReports that figure could drop to the 20 mpg range.
Those figures are quite a bit lower than the only other extended-range electric vehicle on the market – the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. That car gets an estimated 94 MPGe when running on electricity, and has an electric range of 35 miles. When the gasoline engine runs, the car is rated at 37 mpg. Still, these cars are completely different beasts: the Volt is designed more for fuel-efficiency, while the Karma aims to deliver both performance and luxury to a different type of buyer.
Unlike the Volt, which utilizes a 149-hp electric motor, the Karma has a pair of 201-hp motors that drive the rear wheels. A 180-kW, 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides power, but is charged by a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine sourced from General Motors. Unlike the Volt, the engine has absolutely no means of driving the rear wheels. Fisker says the car’s net output is close to 403 hp and 981 pound-feet of torque.
Perhaps a better comparison is to stack the Karma up against a large, premium luxury offering like the Mercedes-Benz S550. That car’s twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V-8 offers 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, yet achieves an EPA combined rating of 19 mpg. Even the S-Class’ hybrid offering, the S400, manages only one more mpg than the Karma on the combined cycle, despite producing 100 fewer hp and 700 fewer lb-ft of torque.
For now, the Karma is likely the reigning champion of economy in the luxury market; that is, until the Tesla Model S comes out. When the Model S finally comes to market (we don’t know exactly when), it should carry a 100 MPGe rating, a 300-mile range, and a cost of $69,900, roughly $27,000 less than a base Karma.
Source: Fisker, GreenCarReport