Fisker Automotive Inc. has managed to obtain over $100 million in fresh funds from private investors, bringing the carmaker’s total raised equity to more than $1.2 billion. The funds came as Fisker tries to prevail over issues related to its Karma sedan and as it gets ready for its second model, the Atlantic. The carmaker announced that it would disclose the production plans and the specifications of the Atlantic, its second electric vehicle, by December 2012. In a statement, Fisker chief executive Tony Posawatz said that the additional funding reflects another major vote of confidence in the carmaker’s pioneering technology and business model. Fisker’s announcement regarding the results of its latest equity financing round came a day after Consumer Reports criticized its Karma model, a $103,000 vehicle that could travel up to 40 miles on a single battery charge before its gasoline engine takes over.
Consumer Report did not recommend the Karma, citing its interior design and reliability. Fisker has recalled Karmas on issues over ion batteries (which were supplied by A123 Systems Inc.) and cooling fans. Fisker, which was granted $529 million in U.S. Energy Department loans in 2009 to develop and build its vehicles, also has to forge a deal with federal officials after it was cut off from one of its funding sources in 2011.
The carmaker’s plan to use those funds to build a second model at a closed General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware, has been suspended since February 2012. Although Fisker did not disclose how many investors contributed to its latest round of equity funding, it is known that the carmaker is backed by venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Palo Alto Investors LLC. Fisker disclosed in July 2012 that actor Leonardo DiCaprio, also a Karma owner, had made some investments in the company and would help promote the vehicle. Fisker said that since December 2011, it has already delivered around 1,500 Karmas to customers in the United States and Europe