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I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that Fisker will be bankrupt within 5 years :(

I was a big fan, have followed the company for 5 years and even tried my very best to make the best use of the car and don't get me wrong, I still like it, I just don't think the company will be around much longer.

I recently wrote about my successes in getting 72km even though this is more than 10% off the advertised mileage of 80km on a single electric charge but I have been unable to reproduce that performance and realized that occasionally I was on the highway using sport mode which uses gas. After several more tests and the realization that my own theories on mileage efficiency were wrong, I have succumbed to the fact that I should not expect more than 60km on a single electric charge.

MPG is not a good stat to keep track of... someone with a high MPG just means that they're going to the corner store and back all the time and recharging their batteries. It's a misleading statistic that will not satisfy the average user and that is why I think they'll be bankrupt within 5 years.

It's a great looking car but that novelty will wear off as other larger, better capitalized car companies make hybrid models. Yes, it has 400 hp but if you drive it like a $120k car should be driven, you get less than 40km per charge so why bother? With the way I'm driving, I'd rather have the Chevy volt engine in it and get multiple times the distance on a single charge because I can't drive it fast anyways.

I really wonder if Henry Fisker drives a Karma as his primary vehicle... I wonder what he'd be saying to himself as he realizes that this car isn't very practicle to the average consumer and if he's going after the dumb rich guy, then not only is it a small market but he's about to get his arse handed to him by luxury auto companies like Audi and Mercedes when they come out with their hybrid options. I wonder what he says to himself when he finds he can't keep his eye on the road when he's fiddling around with the NAV which is really bad compared to other car models or the unresponsive display. I wonder what he thinks of his engineers after they release an update and it is riddled with bugs...

There is hope though, if Fisker honours their initial customers with new batteries that have better technology and can extend the electric range to over 120km then he's got a chance. The fact is that there is NO other solution than a battery than can hold more power. You can't change the weight of the car and there's only so much software can do... oh and they need to change their marketing so that they start to under promise and over deliver. Disappointing first time buyers is a quick way to destruction.

Anyone doing their due diligence on buying a Fisker, I would recommend that they don't buy this car until they improve their range and always discount what they say by at least 30% because they have a bad habit of exaggerating performance especially on the battery.

One good thing for current owners is that when, not if... Fisker does go bankrupt, our cars may hold their value as collectors items of the coolest looking golf cart around (except that it doesn't have enough trunk space to hold more than 1 set of golf clubs).

p.s. For all the Karma lovers out there, I know you're going to try and trash this post but let's be honest people... really honest... when you look at the competition and the way Fisker has marketed themselves against their true performance, I think you'll see I'm right and in the end I really hope I'm wrong. Advertising 80km per charge would be under the most perfect circumstances of which no one can practically replicate. You're buying a nice shell on a golf cart with a 2litre turbo engine in it.
 

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A lot can happen within 5 years

I'm sure the Atlantic will get more miles per charge.

Heck, you can always just make a straight ICE version and move ten to fifteen thousand units and have greater margins.

Fisker be nimble, Fisker be quick!




I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that




Fisker will be bankrupt within 5 years :(

I was a big fan, have followed the company for 5 years and even tried my very best to make the best use of the car and don't get me wrong, I still like it, I just don't think the company will be around much longer.

I recently wrote about my successes in getting 72km even though this is more than 10% off the advertised mileage of 80km on a single electric charge but I have been unable to reproduce that performance and realized that occasionally I was on the highway using sport mode which uses gas. After several more tests and the realization that my own theories on mileage efficiency were wrong, I have succumbed to the fact that I should not expect more than 60km on a single electric charge.

MPG is not a good stat to keep track of... someone with a high MPG just means that they're going to the corner store and back all the time and recharging their batteries. It's a misleading statistic that will not satisfy the average user and that is why I think they'll be bankrupt within 5 years.

It's a great looking car but that novelty will wear off as other larger, better capitalized car companies make hybrid models. Yes, it has 400 hp but if you drive it like a $120k car should be driven, you get less than 40km per charge so why bother? With the way I'm driving, I'd rather have the Chevy volt engine in it and get multiple times the distance on a single charge because I can't drive it fast anyways.

I really wonder if Henry Fisker drives a Karma as his primary vehicle... I wonder what he'd be saying to himself as he realizes that this car isn't very practicle to the average consumer and if he's going after the dumb rich guy, then not only is it a small market but he's about to get his arse handed to him by luxury auto companies like Audi and Mercedes when they come out with their hybrid options. I wonder what he says to himself when he finds he can't keep his eye on the road when he's fiddling around with the NAV which is really bad compared to other car models or the unresponsive display. I wonder what he thinks of his engineers after they release an update and it is riddled with bugs...

There is hope though, if Fisker honours their initial customers with new batteries that have better technology and can extend the electric range to over 120km then he's got a chance. The fact is that there is NO other solution than a battery than can hold more power. You can't change the weight of the car and there's only so much software can do... oh and they need to change their marketing so that they start to under promise and over deliver. Disappointing first time buyers is a quick way to destruction.

Anyone doing their due diligence on buying a Fisker, I would recommend that they don't buy this car until they improve their range and always discount what they say by at least 30% because they have a bad habit of exaggerating performance especially on the battery.

One good thing for current owners is that when, not if... Fisker does go bankrupt, our cars may hold their value as collectors items of the coolest looking golf cart around (except that it doesn't have enough trunk space to hold more than 1 set of golf clubs).

p.s. For all the Karma lovers out there, I know you're going to try and trash this post but let's be honest people... really honest... when you look at the competition and the way Fisker has marketed themselves against their true performance, I think you'll see I'm right and in the end I really hope I'm wrong. Advertising 80km per charge would be under the most perfect circumstances of which no one can practically replicate. You're buying a nice shell on a golf cart with a 2litre turbo engine in it.
 

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Amazing conclusion.... a quote is attributed to Henry Ford: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

Not to understand the Fisker Business plan; failing knowledge on the Atclantic Strategy; having no knowledge of the power of the vehicle -- equated to a "golf-cart" ; it is truly amazing that you have drawn a "conclusion", which suggest is based on information and fact. You have drawn an opinion, which you are entitled. If you investigated and owned, you may reach a different "opinion".
 

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I really wonder if Henry Fisker drives a Karma as his primary vehicle...
Henrik Fisker and his wife (at least I assume it is his wife) live in my neighborhood. They drive 2 Fisker Karmas. I see them driving through the neighborhood in their Fiskers often enough to reasonably assume the Karmas are their primary vehicles.

And for the record, I love my Fisker Karma!

Oh, and since you have a crystal ball that predicts the future, would you be kind enough to tell us which stocks we need to buying at present in order to maximize our profits in the next five years? :)
 

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Actually you can fit two golf bags, shoes, etc... in the trunk unless you are using a tour bag, I've done it.

Also, I had a conversation with Alexander Klatt at a recent event at OC Fisker. He mentioned how much they are learning from the fleet of cars we are all driving. I would not be surprised to see our range getting a little boost, a little extra speed when we need it, and some more command center improvements. They emphasized their commitment to continue to improve the experience of the early adopters and value our willingness to take a leap with them into a new technology. It sounds like they have been very conservative with how they have set up the vehicle to date and there is room to push it a bit more.

I've owned mine for 11 months now with 9000 miles on it and have filled it up with gas 4 times. I drive it to enjoy it and don't baby it. Luckily I can plug in at work. The car continues to improve each time there is a software update. I enjoy driving the Karma much more than driving our Volt! The Volt is my wife's daily driver and she gets less than 35 miles per charge with her style of driving.
 

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Stick with your day job

@Hockydad, predictions, as a great man once said, are like a$$holes - everyone has one and most of them stink of $hit. And I am not going to argue with a man great enough to have said something that profound.

Fisker may or may not make it as a company or a car manufacturer but there can't be any denial that the Karma's power train is the first 21st century power train that is pushing the current technology to the absolute limit. The laundry list of faults and issues you rattled off, none of which have been exactly unknown since your sermon on the mound, are the direct result of taking new and leading edge technology and packaging it in a car that can be designed, certified, manufactured, and driven in the present and in the real world, all of which means that your actual performance under varying conditions are not going to match the ideal targets under test conditions.

This happens with cars that are using highly refined versions of late 19th century drive trains, i.e., all ICE-powered cars, and everyone seems to accept that but new technology cars somehow have to get it exactly right to succeed.

Ultimately the Market will decide what happes to Fisker and most of us hope that it will be well received. And when it comes to predictions, at every point in the life of every great enterprise, from the Persian empire to Apple computer, someone has predicted their impending and immediate demise. Pretty much all of those people were wrong and here too, I think the odds are in Fisker's favor.
 

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P.S. And for the record, I have had my Karma for 10 months, have driven over 11000 miles in it, most of it for my 90 Mile (144 KM) daily commute and have been averaging 135 MPG. The car is working great and I love driving it and drive it on every possible occasion. This is a great car. Not a great EV, but a great car, period.
 

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Hockeydad you're just pissed that Fisker stock isn't public like Tesla's so you could short it all to **** and destroy the companies. How else did you manage to make 20% a year consistently for 20 years in the market? Tell us about all your dirty tricks all knowing one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I love all the responses, it's just as I had imagined :)

Rather than trying to trash talk or take out small bits of my post and isolate them to try and prove a silly point, why not share with us all where I am wrong with regards to the mileage per charge and the mismanagement of expectations?

I'd love to be proven wrong and given a battery that actually exceeds expectations and better yet one that will last 120+km on a single charge. My average usage of a car is around 25k a year so it will be interesting to see how the year ends but right now I am getting 14km/l and have had to fill up 3x after driving almost 1900km and I don't drive the car hard, in fact, people laugh when I crawl off the line :)
 

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Hockeydad: 72 km per charge? Look at the mileage sticker on most new cars. Do they get the EPA certified mileage, or less? Few get that mileage according to the auto enthusiasts magazines, of which I get a few. I don't believe Fisker guarantees 50 miles per charge.

Shall I blame Fisker for battery technology? Surely batteries will improve over time, and I believe it won't take much time. If you wanted "new batteries that have better technology" then perhaps you should have waited until those batteries arrived on the market. >>Shall I buy an Apple computer now or wait for the next iteration.<<
Oh...not enough room in the trunk? My Corvette has the same problem except it doesn't have rear seats to alleviate that grievance. My biggest hassle is getting in and out as I get older.

Personally, I'm thrilled that Henrik and his wife both drive Karmas. What better way to call attention to the minor quirks of the car.

BTW, after 80 years and 56 married years, I can safely state that my wife needs to get "charged" more often than before; probably doesn't get the mileage of prior years; her NAV unit was always bad; "trunk space" remains small; has had glitches from the start.....but I still love her. And there was always the possibility that our marriage wouldn't last 5 years either.

I've had a lot of cars over the years, all with some minor complaints, such as the Corvette breaking a piston while under warranty, and realistically don't expect to ever purchase a car without minor discrepancies, but that's life.

I don't keep track of my mileage and ICE usage. I just USE the car. AND I LOVE IT!
Charge it when I can.....gas it when I have to.

Cheers,
Bert
 

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Yes Hockeydad you made this thread as intentional troll bait. If you want to complain about the range how about a thread called "Karma needs more range". Really how did you make the jump from a range complaint to "Fisker going bankrupt"? If Fisker goes bankrupt it will be because of poor financial planning and controls not range. Fisker's competitors in the luxury segment are planning plugin hybrids with much less electric range than the Karma -- like 15-20 miles. The plugin prius has what 15 miles electric range? THAT's just enough to run errands. But 30-35 miles is enough to cover most people's commutes one way at least.

Short of a bigger battery, there are many, many things Fisker can do to improve range and efficiency many of which they probably have under test already. Simply shaving 500 lbs off the car would improve the range 10% without any battery improvement. Replacing two electric drive motors and inverters with one set more efficient would just about do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would have been surprised if Henrik didn't drive one and also am glad that they do. If he was honest with himself and the level of perfection he is known to uphold, he must be just as frustrated at times but at some point you need to launch the car and the investors need to see progress.

That being said, there would be many ways to approach the issue of bugs and mismanaged expectations and I do think they've been doing the right thing in terms of communicating with drivers and my service guys have been great. The problem is that the market is very unforgiving and if they polled all of the owners, I'd be curious as to what their satisfaction rate would be. In fact, I would challenge the company to do this and make it public but I have a feeling that they wouldn't want to take that risk right now.

I drive my Karma, charge it whenever I can but I can't help but think of the future of this company when other larger auto companies start to produce their high end hybrids. It's one thing to be bleeding edge, it's another thing to just bleed...

@pythagoras
I don't have a problem with the responses, didn't I say that I expected them? As for your examples of other cars with less range, my opinions would be the same for them with the exception that these cars are a lot less expensive than the Karma and thus their expectations are a lot lower. Their smaller engines still make them fuel efficient but you're comparing apples to oranges. If you look at the positive aspects of the Karma, almost everyone will tell you it's in the looks, not the performance and in the long run... in my opinion... looks can only get you 'so far'. I know that there will be many that disagree but time will tell and much of the outcome will depend on Fisker's relationship with fellow 'early adopters' and drivers.

I do believe the car can benefit from a larger battery... dropping weight for existing cars can't be done so it doesn't necesssary bode well for us owners but hopefully there's a future in the new cars.
 

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On range, I've been pleasantly surprised. Have done 4 full charge/discharges with my Karma (have had it for 11 months, but driven it mostly in Sport mode since I didn't have my Level 2 charger until recently). I've consistently gotten between 41-43 miles in normal driving - pretty good considering the EPA rated it 32 miles all electric. In fact, just yesterday I covered up my battery range for most of my driving with a sticker and drove the car as I would drive any other car, including up (and down) the hills of Palos Verdes. When I heard the ICE kick in, I peeled off the battery indicator and it was at 41.1 miles. Not bad considering it was about 65 deg F and had a fair amount of uphill driving. That said, I think we would all like at least 75-100 miles of "real world" electric range, especially in LA where we drive everywhere.
 

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Road Range

I love all the responses, it's just as I had imagined :)

Rather than trying to trash talk or take out small bits of my post and isolate them to try and prove a silly point, why not share with us all where I am wrong with regards to the mileage per charge and the mismanagement of expectations?

I'd love to be proven wrong and given a battery that actually exceeds expectations and better yet one that will last 120+km on a single charge.
@Hockeydad, I must have misunderstood the nature of your post. It's an understandable mistake since the post is titled "Fisker going bankrupt" and the opening line is "I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that Fisker will be bankrupt within 5 years." Does not sound like a discussion about range and expectations, but since English is not my first language, I guess it is only to be expected.

So let's talk about EV range. First, there is a vast amount of discussion on this board about EV range which I am not sure you have accessed before making your pronouncements. For example. there is a fairly detailed set of posts from me that document an average EV range of 44 Miles (71 KM) on a real-world commute cycle. The only limitation was that I did not exceed the locally posted speed limit of 65 MPH (105 KPH), which is not really that restrictive. (I would suggest reading the entire thread as it has a great deal of useful information). It seems to me that getting close to 90% of the "up to 50 Miles" in a real world scenario at highway speeds is pretty impressive. In fact, in the TUV tests, the Karma's electric range was measured at 51.6 Miles (83 KM).

My point here is that, like any other car, the Karma's range, whether in EV or Gas mode, depends on how the car is driven and the conditions. This, to me anyway, is part of the "expectation." Every car maker that sells into the US market provides the MPG/eMPG data but also makes it clear that these are estimates and that "your mileage may vary."

Obviously, it would be great to have a 100-mile battery instead of a 50-mile battery but given the current limitations of the technology, this is the best tradeoff between power, weight and cost. And battery research is continuing at a dizzying pace, such that in 5-10 years it will most likely be possible to replace the existing battery in the Karma (or Tesla, Leaf, Volt, etc.) with a cheaper, smaller and lighter battery of higher storage capacity - an option that is not really available for ICE powered cars. In fact, some of this is already happening.

Again, since the Karma is pushing the technical limits of what was possible when it was designed in 2008, could ultimately benefit from these advances in technology when there is a refresh, but the reality is that any car you drive was designed, spec'd and built at least a year, possibly longer, before you buy it and is necessarily behind the current technology. Cars like the Karma, can be upgraded up to a certain point using more advanced software but ultimately there is a limit of what can be done without upgrading hardware. Which is why car makers release new models once in a while, and I suspect that Fisker will be no different in that regard.

Regarding Fisker's missed dates, etc., I made my decision about those issues in March, when I decided to move forward with the order I had placed in 2008. My original deposit was fully refundable, so I could simply walk away from the order and lose nothing and maybe even come back later. My personal decision at the time was that I understood the reasons for the delay and that I believed in this technology and this company and moved forward with my order. I will be the first to admit that Fisker's execution has been far from perfect and that they have some distance to go before their future is assured. But I am not going to presume to predict their demise. I will let the market decide and hope for the best.
 

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The Karma is what the auto industry calls a "Halo Car": it's not supposed to keep the manufacturer in business, it's supposed to draw people's attention, and then they buy the car(s) that do(es) keep the manufacturer in business (and preferably profitable too, although "in business" suffices for a while). In Fisker's case the ~$50k Atlantic and (I certainly hope anyway :D) the ~$30k follow-on are the business-sustainers / growers.
 

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Oh, and since you have a crystal ball that predicts the future, would you be kind enough to tell us which stocks we need to buying at present in order to maximize our profits in the next five years? :)
I have many, try the prison companies, they are growing all the time and have "Great" products..
 

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Five years is an odd time frame to predict bankruptcy. The future of the company will depend on a successful launch of the Atlantic, which I hope happens much sooner than five years.

Unlike Fab, I'm rather unimpressed by the Karma drivetrain. I don't see it pushing technical limits. I see compromised engineering and kludgy packaging of off-the-shelf parts. However, I hold out hope that Fisker will have a better engineered drivetrain for the Atlantic. And that will be part of what determines the future of the company, if they manage to get to that point.
 

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Unlike Fab, I'm rather unimpressed by the Karma drivetrain. I don't see it pushing technical limits. I see compromised engineering and kludgy packaging of off-the-shelf parts. However, I hold out hope that Fisker will have a better engineered drivetrain for the Atlantic. And that will be part of what determines the future of the company, if they manage to get to that point.
Unlike @doug, who is not an owner, I AM impressed by the Karma's drivetrain. I believe real world experience is a better measure of engineering than theorizing some hypothetical car that is yet to be delivered by who knows which manufacturer.

I've been able to use my 8000 miles of Karma driving to compare with other recent cars I have owned (BMW M5's, Lexus LS600). The Karma's seamless blending of smooth electric power from either battery or ICE/generator packaged within the best looking 4 door sedan design ever is unmatched. So like most owners on this forum I am very happy with my Karma and impressed by what Fisker has been able to deliver.
 

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The electric motor part of the Karma drivetrain is not particularly remarkable. Currently the "secret sauce" (as it were) of EVs is in the blending of regenerative and friction braking. Eventually that won't be a big secret either, but for now, the Karma seems to have the best blend out there (though I have not tried the Model S).

(The Volt and Prius both have more "marvel of engineering" drive systems, with their blending of electric and gasoline motive power through complicated planetary gear systems. However, I'm a big fan of the engineering school of thought that says "the more bits and pieces you remove from the system, the cheaper and more reliable it becomes." The best thing about 100% electric drive is how simple it is. There's just that much less that can break.)
 
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