Cash From Quatar for FiskerFisker, the maker of the upcoming Karma plug-in hybrid sports sedan (all-electric range of 50 miles with gas engine kicking-in to charge batteries over that, similarly to the GM Volt), has announced it has closed a $65-million round of financing led by an affiliate of the Qatar Investment Authority, a state-owned, state-funded sovereign wealth fund. Apparently the QIA wants to "strengthen the country's economy by diversifying into new asset classes." In any case, this new hydrocarbon-money should help Fisker put electric cars on the road...
A couple months ago, Fisker announced that the Karma would be made by Valmet Automotive in FInland and that "the first cars will be delivered in the 4th quarter of 2009 in North America with planned delivery to Europe in 2010. Fisker Automotive's annual production is projected to reach 15,000 cars."
The Karma is anticipated to sell for US$ 80,000. Top speed should be 125 mph (201 km/h) and 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) should be reached in 5.8 seconds.
It's not realistic to expect a startup company to mass-market cars from the start, but if its niche product is successful, it will put more pressure on big players to follow suit, and further down the road, less expensive electric cars will probably appear (a strategy similar to Tesla's).
Plug-in Electric Cars
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Fisker Karma to be Made in Finland by Valmet Automotive