Sunday, July 11, 2010

Good Karma

Browsing my latest copy of Machine Design this weekend, I saw an article on the high end hybrid being introduced by California based Fisker Automotive, call the Karma. 22kW-hr lithium ion battery pack, 50 mile trip radius without gas, but for longer trips a 2.2l 4 cylinder engine gets the range to 250 miles, and boosts the output to 400hp. 0 to 6 in 6 sec, 125mph published top speed.

Solar celled roof for keeping the interior cool or adding a few miles to the battery charge each sunny day - coincidentally, when I take a cab to the airport on business trips, I request Discount Cab send a hybrid vehicle, and of the 4 Prius taxis I have ridden in, each driver says it's the AC that sucks down their gas mileage from the upper 50s and 60s down into the 30 mpg range. Each cabbie loves how his Prius sips gasoline (adding to their bottom line) compared to other vehicles they have driven, but it IS a dorky looking car, and as my friends Ron point out (links here and here), there's so many better vehicles out there, if gas mileage is the main CTQ.

It sucks that the Karma is going to be $80K. I don't have that kind of coin laying around. I am convinced though, that 20 years from now, large displacement, high output, fossil fuel powered vehicles will be a luxury item driven by only the richest 1% of Americans and Europeans. Large Gas Turbines will start running out of economically viable fuels to be burnt as well... as we approach "peak oil".


  1. Since my livelihood centers on high-power gasoline vehicles, I have to have a back-up plan for when the inevitable occurs. I have knowledge and experience in alternative fuels and electric conversion of gas cars, so I am just waiting for when those opportunities open up. But that will not become economically feasible until gas shoots above $5-$10/gallon for good.

  2. Does it involve a sawed off shotgun, a mangy dog, and a leather jacket in the Australian Outback? =)

  3. Last of the V8 interceptors....

    I'm a bit skeptical for 400hp claim for that car. Seems like a lot from some batteries and a 2.2l 4.

    All-electric Nissan Leaf is generating quite a bit of interest here in the UK. How's interest in the US?

  4. Umerikuns are not enthusiastic (generally) about a "Rice Burner", even if it gets 367 miles per gallon. I've heard nothing about them in Phoenix, though I did see a print ad for one sometime earlier this year.

  5. It'll get there,'ll get there:

  6. If you're looking for a "Discount Cab" posting, see this link instead:


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