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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New user from Norway.
I am very curious about this car. And as I now got a Range Rover Sport Supercharged with an incredible fuel consumption, I look towards more reasonable vehicles - but at least as much power. :D

I love cars and design, so I have always looked upon the Fisker Karma as a iconic and expensive car. But now there might be a slight chance that I can afford one. I just have to get to know these cars, so I can choose the right one for me.

As you might know, Norway got some of the highest taxes on cars, especially powerful cars. American cars usually triples in price. European cars doubles the price easily. Hybrid cars gets taxed like a petrol/diesel car, so there is a steep price to pay.
 

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I like to call it “rolling art” and it will be a nice addition to your garage as a commuter or recreational cruising vehicle around town. Like most unique cars it isn't too practical to try to be your sole transportation (limited/small storage and minimal rear passenger space) and although the Karma is rated as being powerful (on paper HP/Torque wise) it is not reflected in the driving experience as the 0-60 time is an unimpressive 6.0 sec sprint if you want a performance centric backroad blaster – so manage your expectations.

The car easy to maintain and nothing complex (brakes, fluids, minor components, etc), but you will need access to knowledgeable technical support for the complex battery, RDM, and routine TPMS calibration that possibly or in the case of the TPMS will be an issue.
 

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I use mine as my daily driver on days it does not rain (need new tires). It is expensive to fix if something goes wrong as well as insuring. But, I love my Fisker.
Just read as much as you can and be careful making sure it's been updated and serviced by the right people.
This group is your support group for questions and as long as you realize that each car has its own personality, you will be in good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will be using mine in daily commuting to work, I can charge both at home and at the office. The insurance is as expensive/cheap as min RRS supercharged, about $1000 with super coverage.

My RRS does the 0-60mph on 7,5 sec, so a Fisker would be more impressive than the huge SUV. Besides I'm very relaxed driver. I like to cruiser rather than race. Though I'd like to overtake slow drivers when I can.

The one I am looking on for the time being is YH4K14AA3CA002530. I think that one should be a very late one, and have all the upgrades.

But I'm rather concerned about parts and knowledge to repair this car if something happens. There are a workshop that do this brand, but I think they're rather pricy. Easily $200/ hour rates.
 

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...The one I am looking on for the time being is YH4K14AA3CA002530. I think that one should be a very late one, and have all the upgrades.

But I'm rather concerned about parts and knowledge to repair this car if something happens. There are a workshop that do this brand, but I think they're rather pricy. Easily $200/ hour rates.
It would not have the software updates unless the previous owner took the car in to a dealer/CSP to add the last 3 most recent updates.

Most of the typical wear parts and others (e.g. turn signal lever, filters, hoses, belts, etc) are parts bin GM and nothing special and other unique Karma components are readily available from Karma and the CSPs, so don't be worried about sourcing parts and maintaining the car near term. The front engine (ICE) is an inexpensive GM unit.

As long as you have access to technical service you will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you sherrilt, that makes me very comfortable to buy one. If the car is not updated, I can have it updated myself after I've bought the Karma? Or is it best to buy one that has all the updates, as I've read on this forum that there are some troubles after an update.

If I import from Netherlands or Germany, how can I be sure that the battery is maintained properly?
 

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I purchased my Karma in December and use it for daily commutes and ironically it has become my everyday driver (you can fit two sets of golf clubs in the trunk--that is ALL you could fit, but it makes well for daily needs such as grocery shopping or even a couple travel bags for a weekend getaway). I researched everything thoroughly so knew what I was getting into. In colder climates, I am averaging about 27 miles to a charge FYI. I am exploring installing two new batter cells which can be pricey ($3k to $5k US depending on the dealer); Karma Automitive is using new GEN 3 battery cells that are better for the new Karma Revero and can utilize the super charging stations. Whether those batteries are compatible or not, I don't know? But as long as you understand what you are getting into before buying noting your desires and climate, then you're good.

The Karma has been a great car--be ready for the attention however because it is a bit much. There is no such thing as a quick stop at a gas station or running into a store without a random person asking a variety of questions or to take a photo of it while you are sitting in the car on a conference call still. All in all, a good purchase and the pros have far outweighed the cons.

Cheers!
 

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Thank you sherrilt, that makes me very comfortable to buy one. If the car is not updated, I can have it updated myself after I've bought the Karma? Or is it best to buy one that has all the updates, as I've read on this forum that there are some troubles after an update...
Yes, the software updates are simple, but not always free depending on the vendor so check the costs. There are numerous mixed results and comments regarding problems with the newer 53X versions of software, so bugs still potentially remain. I am still running 520 software and have no issues but my karma is not a daily driver.

If I import from Netherlands or Germany, how can I be sure that the battery is maintained properly?
There is no battery maintenance that I am aware of.... you just replace modules if/when they fail. It would require an authorized facility with diagnostics to check the health of your battery modules.
 

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In colder climates, I am averaging about 27 miles to a charge FYI.
You may already know this, but just in case, cabin heat in Stealth mode draws a significant amount of power. Seat heaters, by comparison, draw very little power. If you can get by with seat heaters in colder weather, you will probably find your EV range extending significantly.

In really cold weather, you should switch to sport mode for a few minutes at the beginning of your drive and then switch back to Stealth mode. The ICE will run long enough to warm up its coolant, which will then provide plenty of cabin heat without drawing down the battery. If you are on a long drive, you just need to switch into Sport mode briefly when the cabin air starts getting cold again.

Another option is to preheat the car while it is still connected to the charger. You just need to turn on the car and turn on the cabin heat with the car still connected. The car will not move until it is unplugged, but all the other systems continue to work while drawing power from the charger instead of the battery.

Of course, if 27 miles range is sufficient for your purposes, there is no point in changing your routine.

There is a fairly detailed discussion about cold weather operations starting with this post in this thread.


I am exploring installing two new batter cells which can be pricey ($3k to $5k US depending on the dealer); Karma Automitive is using new GEN 3 battery cells that are better for the new Karma Revero and can utilize the super charging stations. Whether those batteries are compatible or not, I don't know? But as long as you understand what you are getting into before buying noting your desires and climate, then you're good.
I am prepared to be corrected on this, but I don't think that you can mix and match old and new cells in the same battery. You can certainly buy a whole new battery, but even that would not give you the faster charging capability (DC Combo) which requires pretty extensive modifications, including a new on-board charger and wiring.

My Karma has been my daily driver for 5 years now. It has been a great car, in addition to being absolutely stunning and a real presence on the road. Just factor in extra time to answer questions when you are in the public.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another option is to preheat the car while it is still connected to the charger. You just need to turn on the car and turn on the cabin heat with the car still connected. The car will not move until it is unplugged, but all the other systems continue to work while drawing power from the charger instead of the battery.
This is the reason I almost bought the "ugly" Bmw i3. You can preheat the car from the phone through an app. I guess that can't be done with the Karma, or can it? I got a charger on my office, so I can be plugged and heat the car before I leave. But since it got a petrol engine it'll get hot soon enough.

But if I go outside in the parking lot with the charges, and starts preheating the car while plugged, can the doors be locked? Or is it a free car for someone brave enough? :p
 

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Another option is to preheat the car while it is still connected to the charger. You just need to turn on the car and turn on the cabin heat with the car still connected. The car will not move until it is unplugged, but all the other systems continue to work while drawing power from the charger instead of the battery.
This is the reason I almost bought the "ugly" Bmw i3. You can preheat the car from the phone through an app. I guess that can't be done with the Karma, or can it? I got a charger on my office, so I can be plugged and heat the car before I leave. But since it got a petrol engine it'll get hot soon enough.

But if I go outside in the parking lot with the charges, and starts preheating the car while plugged, can the doors be locked? Or is it a free car for someone brave enough? :p
Don't know about the free car for someone brave enough (funny, though), but I wouldn't consider an i3 over a Karma any day of the week. 1) the Karma although RWD is more than 5,000 pounds and you can feel it--I put an All Season tread on the car and it handles better than my AWD CTS Coupe in snow, and I live in West Michigan within a snow belt. 2) Like you said, the style is nowhere near comparable, but the ride isn't anywhere close to something which could be compared either. A used Karma may be 50% of the original sticker, but it still feels every bit the $120k price tag it was adorned with. Then again, I don't seem to drive more than 20 miles before the car is parked and charging. It's a great cruiser and although people view the style as a sedan built for speed, it really feels like a luxury sedan rather than an exotic coupe. And--the seat heaters do work rather well.

I'd say if range on electric only isn't a huge issue, it's a no brainer if the decision is an i3 or a Karma--just put some winter or all season treads on it. If more of a collectors item/showpiece, just be prepared to be hands on with figuring out an issue should it come about. This forum though has been great for triage (thanks, HarleyGuy and Fabulist!).
 

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But if I go outside in the parking lot with the charges, and starts preheating the car while plugged, can the doors be locked? Or is it a free car for someone brave enough? :p
Have no fear, @Calle1756. Even an unlocked Karma is pretty tough to steal, unless the thief has spent a lot of time on FiskerBuzz to know how to do a hard reset when the car goes into the infamous FLashing Ready error.

But assuming the thief is well-read and familiar with the multi-step startup procedure, you can stop him/her by locking the car while the car in in ready mode. Just don't leave the key fob in the car because the Karma would be very confused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@SoloKae, you're right, this forum is pretty topped up with knowledge. I wish there were more videos with how-to's. I've got this range rover sport which I've managed to replace a lot with some ease - with the help of youtube. I will have to rely on fixing the easiest things myself, and use a local professional workshop to do the more difficult repairs. Norway is having a wave of batterycars and hybrids, so the mechanics got more experienced with them. But if the parts are as expensive as I've read some on this forum have been quoted - then I'm bankrupt :p RDM Repair But that was an early one, I hope this isn't a issue on the very late ones.

This is the car I am considering: Norwegian fisker 739K NOK are about $88K. Which is ridiculous price, as I can see in the Netherlands and Germany is much cheaper. But then I don't have the safety and guarantee from the store.

So with the buyers guide you guys have made on the forum I reckon I'll find a good car. But it is a little vague for me. Where do I check the history for the car? I have to buy the car first?

And the 1000 dollar question, how many spare parts are there left? Are there aftermarket spare parts or OEM?
 

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@SoloKae, you're right, this forum is pretty topped up with knowledge. I wish there were more videos with how-to's. I've got this range rover sport which I've managed to replace a lot with some ease - with the help of youtube. I will have to rely on fixing the easiest things myself, and use a local professional workshop to do the more difficult repairs. Norway is having a wave of batterycars and hybrids, so the mechanics got more experienced with them. But if the parts are as expensive as I've read some on this forum have been quoted - then I'm bankrupt :p RDM Repair But that was an early one, I hope this isn't a issue on the very late ones.

This is the car I am considering: Norwegian fisker 739K NOK are about $88K. Which is ridiculous price, as I can see in the Netherlands and Germany is much cheaper. But then I don't have the safety and guarantee from the store.

So with the buyers guide you guys have made on the forum I reckon I'll find a good car. But it is a little vague for me. Where do I check the history for the car? I have to buy the car first?

And the 1000 dollar question, how many spare parts are there left? Are there aftermarket spare parts or OEM?
I researched for a few months prior and the amount of OEM parts was actually surprising. The expense is (from what I've seen) in battery cells and electric--I would ask the pros though on this site that were technicians for the original Fisker. With Karma Automitive launching the Revero with body panels that are nearly identical to the point people on this forum have talked about swapping grills for aesthetics, I feel it's probably a more reasonable climate now. Again though, I'm talking within the U.S. so I'd research carefully how many certified Fisker guys or Karma Automotive guys are in your region and able to service a car later on if needed.

The pricing--that's pretty steep at this stage but the value is going to come with your peace of mind. Obviously you'd need to do the conversion, but I bought my Inferno Karma ES, mid-model apparently, with only 5260 miles for about $60k US--was in showroom condition and somehow the interior still smelled new after 5 years. If you aren't in a scenario where you need to purchase right away, I would maybe be sure to take a few months to determine if you can get comfortable with what you've read. Faulty check engine lights and lower cold weather efficiency didn't deter me because one is just a light that I figured out how to test validity of and even reset easily with the help of the forum and lower mileage wasn't a game changer for me as my daily driving is about 20 miles total (averaging 402 mpg's on this tank currently).

Good luck and wish you the best!
 

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With Karma Automitive launching the Revero with body panels that are nearly identical to the point people on this forum have talked about swapping grills for aesthetics, I feel it's probably a more reasonable climate now.
I have pictures of my Fisker next to a Revero I test drove. While they are close, it would appear that the new Revero grill is actually a little larger than our Fiskers -- the center chrome trim at the separator between the two "mustache" pieces seems narrower on the Revero. So, it might be possible to change both the grill AND the chrome trim pieces surrounding them together.
 
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