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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I washed my car today, something I usually leave to professionals, but last week, literally one day after I got the car washed, several squadrons of well-fed birds decided to use it for target practice and one thing I cannot fault them for is their precision, because none of the other cars in the parking lot were hit except for mine.

Anyway, I decided to get the car a quick wash today and get the pre-guano off and nothing gives you a true appreciation of the complexity and craftsmanship of Karma's shape than handwashing it. I still can't understand how a company can go broke selling something that beautiful and that innovative. Just boggles my mind.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At the time he said it, I was skeptical; but Elon Musk put it best when he called Fisker a design company.
I have heard him say it, and that's BS, IMHO. It took brilliant engineering to squeeze all the necessary components into the envelope designed by Henrik Fisker. So if your component does not fit into the space allotted, you had to redesign and re-engineer the component. The Tesla Model S looks like the engineers won every argument and the car got modified rather than the components. The Fisker approach, to me, seems more demanding and more challenging, and requiring better engineering than Tesla.
 

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I think that was always their intent whether they told the DOE or not. Design it, market it, then get contract manufacturers to build it. Always thought Fisker and Tesla would make an incredible combination. Or Fisker and BMW.
 

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You know I've wondered how much better the Karma would be if it had a flat battery pack like the Model S - probably not doable without raising the profile of the car which would take away from it's overall presence. The upside is a fifth seat though!

It's too bad that the Atlantic drivetrain won't see the production light since early engineering representations showed nearly a 50% reduction in size of the electric motor/inverters which would allow for a bigger trunk and also a good amount of weight reduction. And for the REX/genset, the BMW N20 sounds much more refined than the Ecotec!
 

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In the space that is currently occupied by the pack if optimized properly Fisker could get at least 40kwh worth of batteries in there. The current pack that was spec'd was not due to space constraints but rather a perception in 2008 that 50 miles is all that would be necessary on a daily basis.
 

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In the space that is currently occupied by the pack if optimized properly Fisker could get at least 40kwh worth of batteries in there. The current pack that was spec'd was not due to space constraints but rather a perception in 2008 that 50 miles is all that would be necessary on a daily basis.
It's also a weight issue. The GVWR for the Karma is 6100 lbs and the curb weight is 5300lbs leaving only 800 lbs or so for people and cargo. The suspension would have to be beefed up if you added another 400 lbs of batteries.

Also, side note- if the Karma had an 85kwh pack like the MS, electric range would only be 140 miles using EPA numbers - while the MS is almost double that at 265. Amazing how much more efficient the S is per kwh (yes I know it weighs 700 lbs less, but that's only a 15% difference).
 

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It's also a weight issue. The GVWR for the Karma is 6100 lbs and the curb weight is 5300lbs leaving only 800 lbs or so for people and cargo. The suspension would have to be beefed up if you added another 400 lbs of batteries.

Also, side note- if the Karma had an 85kwh pack like the MS, electric range would only be 140 miles using EPA numbers - while the MS is almost double that at 265. Amazing how much more efficient the S is per kwh (yes I know it weighs 700 lbs less, but that's only a 15% difference).
Check out the weight difference between the now defunct 40kwh (aka the 60kwh) Model S and the 85kwh Model S.

Long of the short is you would use different cells and the weight would be similar to what the Karma currently weighs.
 

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Check out the weight difference between the now defunct 40kwh Model S and the 85kwh Model S.

Long of the short is you would use different cells and the weight would be similar to what the Karma currently weighs.
A123 (or B456) don't have different cell densities for their nanophosphate batteries - single density. So if Fisker stuck with that chem, a higher capacity pack would mean more weight.

Also as it relates to the MS, the 40kwh MS actually has a 60kwh battery that's electronically limited to 40kwh of usable capacity (there was a big announcement on this from Elon a few months ago). So the difference between the 85kwh battery and the 60kwh is very small (each pack has a combination of different cells/capacities). Completely different chemistry from the A123 packs.

One path to weight reduction is using the new Nanophosphate EXT packs which require less cooling and operate in a much wider range of temperatures than the old tech in our packs. Another idea is a hybridized battery pack which could couple a supercap with an A123 pack for high power apps and a low power/high capacity pack like the 18650 cells in the MS. So you could have a 40kwh pack that is comprise of a 1kwh supercap, 5kwh A123 pack and another 34kwh of 18650s which would in total weigh about what the current 20kwh A123 pack weighs. But that approach is more complex and doesn't currently exist...
 

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The Karma battery currently weighs ~700lbs with the housing and somewhere around 450lbs without the housing. 50kwh of 18650 cells would weigh around 500lbs. So it seems like it would be relatively close. I don't think Fisker will be using A123 technology in the future (unless Wanxiang buys them).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Karma battery currently weighs ~700lbs with the housing and somewhere around 450lbs without the housing. 50kwh of 18650 cells would weigh around 500lbs. So it seems like it would be relatively close. I don't think Fisker will be using A123 technology in the future (unless Wanxiang buys them).
I would love to see a bolt-in replacement for the engine and generator made from 18650 cells in a housing that fits in the space currently occupied by the genset. The weight would be approximately the same and the software could simply respond to Karma's commands as if it were an ICE. If VL was doing that instead of going the other way, I would seriously consider having my car converted.
 

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I would love to see a bolt-in replacement for the engine and generator made from 18650 cells in a housing that fits in the space currently occupied by the genset. The weight would be approximately the same and the software could simply respond to Karma's commands as if it were an ICE. If VL was doing that instead of going the other way, I would seriously consider having my car converted.
Oh god not this again :D

The more likely scenario is a bigger battery to replace the current one and you still get to keep the range extender! its a win win and much simpler than having to re-engineer the whole car and have it re-tested for homologation .
 

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Fab I thought a big reason you went for the Karma was because of range anxiety. Assuming you could add another 20kwh of batteries in lieu of the ICE, would you really want to drive a car with only a 75-85 mile range and a 12-hour level 2 charging time?
 

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Can't speak for Fab; for me, range was the biggest issue, ruling out the Model S until they bring the supercharger network out here. Doubling the Karma's range while giving up the range extender clearly would not suffice, since the "300 miles" of the Model S is not sufficient either!

The looks and (more importantly) comfort of the Karma are also factors, but not deal-breakers the way range would be.
 

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Can't speak for Fab; for me, range was the biggest issue, ruling out the Model S until they bring the supercharger network out here. Doubling the Karma's range while giving up the range extender clearly would not suffice, since the "300 miles" of the Model S is not sufficient either!

The looks and (more importantly) comfort of the Karma are also factors, but not deal-breakers the way range would be.
Ditto. That said, were I to live full time in SoCal, I think now I could deal with the MS range issues with the upgraded 120kw superchargers and battery swapping stations (helps that the Hawthorne supercharger is only 15 miles from my LA house so I could recharge for free :).

Now if they could just do something about the looks (both exterior and interior)...
 

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I have heard him say it, and that's BS, IMHO. It took brilliant engineering to squeeze all the necessary components into the envelope designed by Henrik Fisker. So if your component does not fit into the space allotted, you had to redesign and re-engineer the component. The Tesla Model S looks like the engineers won every argument and the car got modified rather than the components. The Fisker approach, to me, seems more demanding and more challenging, and requiring better engineering than Tesla.
This car has a lot of shortcomings, I think we can agree on that. Many of those are related to packaging issues due to everything having to be approved by the design team.

While I applaud Fisker for taking a concept version to production, there is a reason that concept cars often look different from the production versions.
 

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This car has a lot of shortcomings, I think we can agree on that. Many of those are related to packaging issues due to everything having to be approved by the design team.

While I applaud Fisker for taking a concept version to production, there is a reason that concept cars often look different from the production versions.
Don't disagree with you. Just curious on some of the system engineering choices by the team such as the Visteon CIU, the lack of button lights in the steering wheel, the large inverters behind the rear seats (heard there was a smaller, lighter and more efficient one that somehow got passed over), the jiangxi pm motors/differential instead of the other one (was it ACP?) which was smaller/lighter...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Fab I thought a big reason you went for the Karma was because of range anxiety. Assuming you could add another 20kwh of batteries in lieu of the ICE, would you really want to drive a car with only a 75-85 mile range and a 12-hour level 2 charging time?
Can't speak for Fab; for me, range was the biggest issue, ruling out the Model S until they bring the supercharger network out here. Doubling the Karma's range while giving up the range extender clearly would not suffice, since the "300 miles" of the Model S is not sufficient either!

The looks and (more importantly) comfort of the Karma are also factors, but not deal-breakers the way range would be.
My statement was based on getting 50 extra KWH for the same weight using the 18650 batteries for a total of 70 KWH, based on @Smooth's statement below:

The Karma battery currently weighs ~700lbs with the housing and somewhere around 450lbs without the housing. 50kwh of 18650 cells would weigh around 500lbs.
But even if you can't get that much stored power, having driven the car for about 18 months now, I have a slightly different perspective. My typical driving patterns are very close to the maximum range of the current 20KWH battery. even doubling the range to (in my case 80 - 90 miles) would easily satisfy 99% of my daily driving needs. Although I like the idea of having the ICE and the ability to refuel it in a couple of minutes, doubling the current range would make that superfluous. As a practical matter, the Karma is not our first choice for long drives because we own an M-Class Benz for those types of excursions, so again the ICE is a useful option to have, but for the vast majority of the time, I am lugging around 600 pounds of ballast for the few minutes a day I actually need it as a power plant.

As I have said many times before, my ideal car would have the exterior shape, the interior, and chassis of the Karma mated to the Tesla battery and drive train.
 

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My statement was based on getting 50 extra KWH for the same weight using the 18650 batteries for a total of 70 KWH, based on @Smooth's statement below:



But even if you can't get that much stored power, having driven the car for about 18 months now, I have a slightly different perspective. My typical driving patterns are very close to the maximum range of the current 20KWH battery. even doubling the range to (in my case 80 - 90 miles) would easily satisfy 99% of my daily driving needs. Although I like the idea of having the ICE and the ability to refuel it in a couple of minutes, doubling the current range would make that superfluous. As a practical matter, the Karma is not our first choice for long drives because we own an M-Class Benz for those types of excursions, so again the ICE is a useful option to have, but for the vast majority of the time, I am lugging around 600 pounds of ballast for the few minutes a day I actually need it as a power plant.

As I have said many times before, my ideal car would have the exterior shape, the interior, and chassis of the Karma mated to the Tesla battery and drive train.
I'm with Fab, I took the ICE because it was included ;-) I would of prefered a Sunset with a telsa drivetrain or even a Karma Coupe (2dr). I think the four doors with small trunck and low slunk does not make sense. I think Henrik while a great designer , but not very pragmatic and made lots of assumption that did not pan out. I would certainly consider removing the ICE for extra battery that could give me 100-150 miles and hopefully with less weight (better sleath performance) :D
 
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