Karma S Deposit 5x Bigger than for Karma
The Fisker Karma S hard-top convertible plug-in hybrid, which was unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show and has a drivetrain similar to the Chevy Volt, which Fisker calls the Q-Drive Powertrain, is now available for pre-ordering. Fisker's PR head honcho Russell Datz confirmed that the Karma S would be shipping in 2011, and that people could reserve their spot in the queue with a deposit.
While those interested in the Fisker Karma four-door plug-in hybrid sedan will have to make a deposit of $5,000, buyers looking for some fun in the sun with the Fisker Karma S will have to make a deposit of $25,000. How much will the drop-top Karma go for?
"No pricing announced yet — but it will likely be significantly more than the Karma sedan," Datz told eGMCarTech in an e-mail. He also said that the first 250 units will be "specially configured" and will be "designated as first-run vehicles and perhaps numbered."
In Detroit Henry Fisker said that they already had over 1,300 orders for the Karma, but we can wonder how many of those deals were inked before the recession. How many $25,000 deposits will they get for a car of unknown price that won't ship before 2 years?
New technology is always expensive (remember early cell phones or computers?), and it makes sense to start upmarket (like Tesla Motors) because people will pay more for a premium item, but timing is important too. I'm pretty sure that if Tesla and Fisker had cars for sale 2 years ago they'd have sold more than these days. But macroeconomic conditions are out of their control... The best they can do now is wait for better times and not fall behind on R&D.;
In a way this extra time might be a blessing in disguise. Battery technology is improving slowly but surely, and hypercapacitors are maturing. Maybe the lost year(s) of the recession will mean that the second and third models from these electric car makers will be a lot better - and more influential - than they otherwise would've been. Fisker and Tesla won't sell high volume vehicles for a long time, but they can push the bigger players in a greener direction (it's arguable that they've already done so by showing the mainstream public that electric cars didn't have to be golf carts).
Photos: Michael Graham Richard
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