The global validation experts at the Technischer Üeberwachungs Verein have weighed in on the lavish, plug-in Fisker Karma, and the fuel economy numbers may surprise you: 51.6 miles of all-electric driving, 26 combined mpg in range-extending mode, and a total of 112 combined mpg. If the Environmental Protection Agency’s ratings are your ultimate efficiency yardstick, you might as well step away from this story now.
The TÜV, which may be unknown to most consumers in the United States but is highly respected in its home base of Germany, regularly certifies and validates vehicles for roadworthiness in many parts of the globe. Whereas vehicle registration may entail just an emissions checkup every few years (dependant on the state) and registration fees in the U.S., entire cars are scrutinized in Germany to make sure the wheels aren’t miles away from falling off. But more notably, the TÜV has dedicated itself to the best methodology within its knowledge to determine the fuel consumption and carbon emissions of the impending wave of multi-fuel vehicles.
And since the TÜV holds a stronger presence outside of the U.S., it rates vehicles in Urban and Extra Urban cycles.
The Urban test begins with a cold start and simulates city and stop-and-go driving. Here, the Karma in charge-depleting mode with the engine working emits 58 grams per kilometer, or 0.21 pound per mile in Yankee numbers. Fuel economy is rated 98 combined mpg. For easy reference, the gas-miserly Toyota Prius would throw out 0.39 pound per mile with its 51/48 mpg city/highway.
The Extra Urban setting follows the Urban test and picks up the driving pace, and here the Karma is responsible for 47 grams of CO2 per kilometer, or 0.17 pound per mile. Fuel economy sits at 118 combined mpg.
Combined, the TÜV states a carbon emissions score of 51 grams per kilometer, aka 0.18 pound per mile. The Karma is good for 112 combined mpg with both the battery and engine working together, 51.6 miles of all-electric driving, and 26 combined mpg in charge-sustaining operation. Obviously, a direct comparison to the official EPA figures – 32 miles of battery-powered driving, 20 combined mpg in charge-sustaining mode, and 52 total combined mpg have riled up Fisker’s critics – would be inappropriate since the methodologies are different. The EPA has also endowed the Karma with a 10 out of 10 for fuel economy and emissions.
Fisker continues to stand by its stated range of 50 electric miles and 250 extended-range miles for 300 total miles.
At close to $100,000, the Karma is going to be a tough sell to a significant portion of the population. But if there’s one thing that future Karma customers should know, it’s that the slinky sedan is a lot more than just a bunch of numbers.
Source: Fisker Automotive