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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK ... dang it, I'm back... not that i really want to be and hear my posts getting trashed. yes, I posted one earlier that said "I told you so" and got blasted for saying that and that Fisker wasn't bankrupt yet so I can't help myself but say it again... "I told you so!"

anyhoo, let's get past that.

I'd like to get people's opinions on how we Fisker owners can mitigate risk in a "post invalid-warranty" world. Body panel and exterior work is something I'm not too fussed about as any good body shop should be able to fix things unless you're in a serious accident. The engine is also something I'm not as worried about after I heard that they're just the old 2L Saturn engines so mechanics should be familiar with them.

I'm more worried about the drive train and electronics... the dealership techs seem to know their way around so there's hope there but my big question is with the batteries.

Why wouldn't Tesla batteries or any future batteries be able to be swapped in for our batteries? Isn't it just a electrical storage unit so how difficult is it to customize batteries to fit into that center module space that runs down the middle of the car? Could there even be a possibility that newer batteries that are smaller and lighter fit in as well?

Hockeydad
 

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Software. It's not just battery cells in there. There's a number of electronics in the battery housing as well. If it's just a cell problem, there's companies out there that rebuild HV batteries. Swapping in a whole new battery pack from say, Tesla, would probably be out of the question because of the software involved as well.
 

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Why wouldn't Tesla batteries or any future batteries be able to be swapped in for our batteries? Isn't it just a electrical storage unit so how difficult is it to customize batteries to fit into that center module space that runs down the middle of the car? Could there even be a possibility that newer batteries that are smaller and lighter fit in as well?

Hockeydad
EV batteries, at least for now, are bespoke to the car, not just in terms of dimensions, but also the massive amount of electronics built into the battery that needs to talk to the other systems in the car. Different storage technologies store and release power differently and the other systems in the car (inverters, motors, on-board charger) have to be set up to work with that specific technology. If there is sufficient demand, B456, or an aftermarket company would be happy to take your money and custom-build a battery that fits the Karma if the original batteries are out of production, but I suspect that be very costly. As I understand it, the Karma batteries can actually be repaired in the field by changing out individual malfunctioning cells. As long as that option is available, it will probably be the best way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Arg, that's too bad, it would have been nice to take advantage of Tesla's battery technology... as it is, it's a heavy 2L Saturn engine car that looks nice on the outside with 60-70km of real range (if you drive it gently) and only 40km in cold weather (and you have to use the heater).

I was surprised to hear my technician say that the heater system is extremely inefficient and really wasn't meant for cold weather. The new thermostat change helped but I was told that the heat comes from heating the engine first and the fluids within the engine to pass on radiant heat. He actually suggested getting a plug in heating fan that would take up less energy. How embarrassing would that be :) ... a $120k car where I have to have an electric heater to warm the car and blankets for my passengers.
 

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Try the setting auto and then press heat for front window, about 23 celcius and 2 for fan speed, worked for me in the winter and i live i sweden:)

I think the auto mode doesnt work so good
 

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Arg, that's too bad, it would have been nice to take advantage of Tesla's battery technology... as it is, it's a heavy 2L Saturn engine car that looks nice on the outside with 60-70km of real range (if you drive it gently) and only 40km in cold weather (and you have to use the heater).
Didn't want to completely dash your hopes but that's the current state of the technology. BetterPlace tried to get some interest in standard and easily interchangeable batteries to make them easily and quickly swappable, but that model has not been very successful, at least not yet.

I was surprised to hear my technician say that the heater system is extremely inefficient and really wasn't meant for cold weather. The new thermostat change helped but I was told that the heat comes from heating the engine first and the fluids within the engine to pass on radiant heat. He actually suggested getting a plug in heating fan that would take up less energy. How embarrassing would that be :) ... a $120k car where I have to have an electric heater to warm the car and blankets for my passengers.
Should not be a big surprise since electric heat in an EV is basically resistive heating, which is pretty inefficient. This is not limited to the Karma since it is a basic limitation of electric motors. The motor in an ICE-Powered car generates a lot of excess heat that has to be expelled using lots of plumbing, poisonous fluids and one or more radiators. This makes it very convenient to extract a small amount of that waste heat for the cabin, but makes the process pretty inefficient because the heat is generated all the time whether you want it or not. It's like living next door to the town's trash incinerator. Most of the time it's annoying, but you do get all that free heat when it's cold. I suspect most people faced with that situation would rather move away and pay for the heat they need rather be blasted by heat every day.

Electric motors, in contrast, don't generate nearly as much excess heat, which means they are much more efficient but then you need to use some of the stored power to make heat, but only when you need it rather than having to deal with it all the time.

And you have the best of both worlds in the Karma. If it's really cold, you can turn the ICE on long enough to heat the water in the engine's high temp loop and get the cabin warmed up and then switch back to Stealth. You trade some of the efficiency for convenience. Also, the seat heaters work much better than handing out blankets, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Fab, that actually makes a lot of sense. I should just have used the ICE to heat while it was cold. I'll have to wait until next winter to try that trick out though, it's spring now ... finally!
 

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I'd like to get people's opinions on how we Fisker owners can mitigate risk in a "post invalid-warranty" world.
Selling your car is the best way to mitigate risk. The other option is to swap in a full ICE powertrain.

I'm more worried about the drive train and electronics... the dealership techs seem to know their way around so there's hope there but my big question is with the batteries.
The drive motors are still available from the supplier (JJ) so this should not be a problem. The electronics are pretty solid, the HCU is a Quantum unit so they may be able to help. Delta makes the OBCM and most of the other modules in the vehicle. Probably need a minimum order of 100 to get a supply run.

Why wouldn't Tesla batteries or any future batteries be able to be swapped in for our batteries? Isn't it just a electrical storage unit so how difficult is it to customize batteries to fit into that center module space that runs down the middle of the car? Could there even be a possibility that newer batteries that are smaller and lighter fit in as well?

Hockeydad
Tesla batteries use a different chemistry and are more volatile than the np batteries in the Karma. Tesla batteries also require greater thermo control so a new battery cooling system will have to be designed. While it is possible it is probably not worth the hassle. If the goal is to get more range I believe this may be possible by reducing the weight of some of the interior components of the vehicle (i.e.lighter seats, thinner carpet, lighter door panels, thinner under panels, removing solar panel etc). I truly believe you could probably shave 4-500 lbs by using lighter materials . While the cabin looks and feels great I think some people would not mind the same style of the cabin with a bit thinner materials if it allowed for a 10-20% increase in pure ev mode.

If your goal is to just to have a working pack and keep your car going you should easily be able to rebuild your pack. Other packs can be scavenged to rebuild a single pack if a component is bad etc. No worries on this, just need to figure out where Fisker goes and whats left of the company before we get to that point. Right now though it sucks if you need a pack as it is almost impossible to get one. In a few months it would be hard to imagine that we all would be in this same (Fisker parts) situation.
 
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