Exclusive Interview with Fisker Automotive Founder Henry Fisker (Detroit is Back Series)


As Fisker came up for his DOE loan under the department of Energy Advanced Technology vehicle manufacturing loan program created in 2008 with a fund of $25 billion authorized under section 136 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, to reduce dependence on foreign oil. The Bush administration initially signed the program into law but the program has become a hot button topic. Innovation and development of new technology should be cheered. Fisker was to get funds to build the vehicle in the picture above at a former GM plant in Delaware where now defunct brands Pontiac and Saturn used to manufacture the Sky and the Solstice. Those plans are currently on hold as the politics sorts itself out pending this election however I thought it great to share my exclusive interview with the energetic innovator. I am also presenting some video of our interview.

Necessity breeds ingenuity for most, while others can perceive an

opportunity and voyage towards it before the masses are in tow. Such

is the case of distinguished automotive designer Henry Fisker whose

work with BMW and Aston Martin are of legend and his coach build work

has undisputedly been regarded as second to none. Henry Fisker has now

embarked on a ground breaking venture, an entire green luxury car

company and if the first product the Karma is an indication his

approach may change the automotive industry. Fisker Automotive is

truly a global car company with headquarters in Irvine, CA, a

development studio in Detroit, an engine building alliance with GM for

their global Echotec I-4 engine, and a manufacturing agreement with

Valmet Automotive in Finland. Of the overall strategy of the company

Henry stated “green cars can be good looking sexy, fast, and big… its

important to make a statement about getting a green car that’s

exciting enough that you want to own this car, that you want to buy

it” and one glance at the Karma and you would concur with his vision.

Simply stunning to look at the Karma features flowing lines, an

extended front end, 22 in wheels, solar roof, multi-media integration

of the design Henry said opined it was like “a stylish New York

Apartment…with 4 single seats, with a long battery from front to

rear.” Of the structure Henry told us its an ” aluminum body, lighter

material to make cars as light as possible” This light frame paired

with a combination of 2 electric engines and the GM sourced Echotec

produces a top speed of 125 mph and 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds. The

specs on the electric powertrain are just mind numbing a 408hp

combined output with 959 ft-lb of torque. The Karma works on a

proprietary Q drive which operates as a plug in electric car and

powers the first 50 miles on electric power then switches to hybrid

mode. There are 3 modes HEV, Stealth, and Sport. Stealth mode is the

default and essentially automatically conservers power limiting top

speed to 95 mph, and reducing acceleration while as charging the

battery automatically, HEV mode serves to charge the battery, with

auto shutoff and other energy saving measures, Sport mode opens the

full performance possibilities offering peak power and torque, all at

a tock of a button. Priced at $87,000 the Karma is very competitive

with other ultra luxury sedans such as the S550 and Lexus LS460 among

others. Manufacturer Valmet assembled the Porshe Cayman, and Boxster

at the plant prior to the deal with Fisker so build quality should be

high. In addition it doesn’t hurt to have a Nobel prize winning,

former Vice President as an investor, AL Gore a partner in Kleiner an

green initiative venture capital firm, helped close the deal for the

second round of financing for Fisker. Fisker plans to sell 15,000

Karma’s a year beginning in the 4th quarter of 2009, there are also

plans for other product lines with Karma derivates to follow after

launch. In conclusion a statement by Henry Fisker sums it up the best

“Karma means whatever you do in this life you gonna either be rewarded

or punished for in your next life” With the superb effort with the

“Karma” we expect nothing but great Karma for Fisker. For more

information visit www.fiskerautomotive.com

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