EV Connect announced that it has entered an agreement last Wednesday in which it will install and service charging stations for Fisker Karma owners and all 47 Fisker Automotive Inc. dealerships.
The electric vehicle equipment provider, which is based in Culver City, Calif., will serve as the exclusive contact for purchase and maintenance of Fisker charging stations. EV Connect will have the charging equipment shipped to homes or businesses.
It will also handle permitting procedures and install the equipment. In an interview, Brett Hauser, COO of EV Connect, said that Fisker is “very focused” on achieving a high level of customer satisfaction and that aside from the charge station, other aspects have to be worked on, including the inspection, acquiring the permits, and coordinating with utilities.
In addition, EV Connect said equipment installation will start in July. Fisker, which is based in Anaheim, Calif., makes the plug-in hybrid electric Karma that sells for $95,900.
Fisker’s production of the Karma started in March at Valmet Automotive's plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Fisker got a $529 million federal loan in 2009 that is being spent to retool a former General Motors plant in Delaware that will assemble its next model, the more affordable Nina, in 2013.
One factor that attracts customers to a car is how inviting the cockpit is and the Karma from Fisker Automotive does not disappoint. To make this possible, the brand’s very own design team made sure to focus on a sustainable design for its interior, a design that would be answerable to the environment. In fact, the interior is inspired from the timeless beauty of nature and quality of the composition of its classic design.
This is known as the Sustainable and Accountable Design wherein the Karma made use of modern technology and utilized reusable materials. One good example of this is the wood trim. What Fisker did was to use non-living trees like “Sunken Trees” that are typically found on the bottoms of lakes in the U.S., the “Rescued Trees” from trees that have been burned due to forest fires, and “Fallen Trees” which are trees that have ‘died’ as a result of old age.
In terms of equipment, the controls and its instrumentation put attention on being easy to use. Its center console EcoGlass is layered and inserted in it is the touch sensitive 10.2-inch screen which allows one to control the audio, HVAC, and even other systems present inside. At the back of its steering wheel are the LCD gauges that ensure that the driver is able to get important information like the current speed of the vehicle or the present battery charge. It is not only in the interior where the Karma excels but also in the exterior. The design displays a continuous flow in terms of dramatic proportion and sculpture.
This is in fact a style that is trademark Fisker. By having its front fenders raised and the wide and low stance, it enables even the driver to get a good look at the design. Some small changes from the first Karma prototype can be seen as well like the making the lower intake larger and improving the upper grill and this enhance the airflow. Since the rear bumper has an aerodynamic diffuser under it, it allows for the electric drivetrain to be cooled. It is also simple to recognize this vehicle as a Karma considering that it has what has got to be the world’s largest solar panel, with continuously formed glass, on its roof. This is considered as a first in the industry but is now fitted as standard in all Karma sedans.
According to Fisker Automotive, Inc., CEO Henrik Fisker, it was important that from the concept phase and up to the final production, the company needed to have a singular design language. It also had to ensure that the original design’s integrity was still there, for the exterior and the interior. There are many key features that manage to set the Karma apart from its competitors and these include the use of earth-friendly materials, the beautiful sculpture, and the extreme proportions, he added.
Just as important is to experience an inspiring drive, he continued. CEO Fisker said that the company hopes the Karma will be able to start a new eco-friendly segment for transportation and hopefully become a highly anticipated hybrid plug-in sports sedan. One feature that is unique to the Fisker is the Q-DRIVE, a system that allows an excellent mix of efficiency, power, and low emissions.
The Q-DRIVE is composed of two electric motors that can deliver 201 hp with the innovative lithium-ion technology battery pack. The gas-powered engine is a turbocharged direct injection 2.0-liter Ecotec type which offers output at 260 hp and since it is attached to a generator, guarantees extended range capabilities. There are two operating modes for the Q-DRIVE. The first is the Stealth Mode which uses purely electricity.
Under this setting, the Karma can go as far as 50 miles emission-free on a full charge. If the battery is drained, it can be recharged using any electric outlet, be it a 110-volt, a 220-volt version, and a 240-volt outlet.
The second is the Sport Mode which allows the car to run an estimated maximum distance at 300 miles. For this mode, the Karma makes use of the Ecotec gasoline engine in order to be able to a turn a generator, the same one that powers the two electric motors that are on the rear differential.
With this, the Karma can get estimated yearly average of at least 100 miles per gallon. Quantum Technologies CEO Alan Niedzwiecki related that at least 60% of the 200 million drivers in the U.S. travel at most 50 miles in a day. With the Q-DRIVE, Karma can achieve this without so much as one drop of gas. This powertrain is considered as proprietary but will also serve as the base for future models of Fisker, he continued.
Maximum speed of the Karma is 125 mph with acceleration from 0 to 60mph in merely 5.8 seconds. Without a doubt, the Kara is the fist-ever premium hybrid plug-in hybrid sports sedan. The company made sure that it will always be focused on performance while lowering its center of gravity. Giving it that world-class driving experience is the A-arm suspension system. Helping with the lateral grip are the wide tires though its electrohydaulic disc brakes give that extra stopping power.