Fisker says its plug-in electric hybrid sports car, the Karma, will get 67 miles per gallon. That’s pretty impressive, but it looks paltry in comparison to the Chevy’s absurd boast that the Volt will get 230 MPG.
The Karma will be able to travel 40 miles on a single charge, when it’s not in performance mode, just like the Volt. So, why is its MPG so much lower? Fisker is going by the Society of Automotive Engineers, rather than the EPA for its calculation.
Low-balling the MPG number is an interesting decision. While most automakers want to crank that number as high as is possible to get customers–and government’s–attention, Fisker is opting for what seems to be a more honest figure. Of course, lower doesn’t necessarily mean more honest, it could be just as wrong. The MPG could be higher and Fisker is shooting itself in the foot.
Perhaps it’s because the Karma appeals to a richer demographic who probably don’t give a hoot about MPGs. Most of the Karma buyers are doing it because they like the car and they think its good for the environment. At $87,000, it shouldn’t appeal to penny pinchers worried about the price at the pump, or their MPGs.
We’ve asked Fisker why the went for the low end, and if they write back with something articulate, we’ll pass it along.
UPDATE: Here’s Russell Datz, the rep for Fisker on the issue: “We chose to release a combined city/hwy number. Volt is electric only. Our electric only figures are closer to 150mpg. Remember too the karma is a large luxury car.” But forget the whole MPG thing, says Datz. The most important thing is that the CO2 output of 83g/km is lower than any other hybrid. Not all that shocking though, when you consider that it’s half electric.
And here’s some more information from the release on the cost of the car:
Fueling the Karma could cost just $0.03/mile, consuming as little as 21 kilowatt hours per 100km in its electric-only Stealth mode, according to SAE methodology. However, a real-world annual average would be closer to $0.07/mile based on a mix of Stealth and Sport (gasoline) mode use. Actual economy and emission results will vary depending on individual driving habits and usage requirements.
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