Bad electric Karma

Fisker said it was not aware of any consumer complaints, warranty claims or “any other reports related to this condition.” It said fewer than 50 vehicles were in the hands of consumers.

Under federal regulations dealers may not sell the remaining new models until the recall is completed.

Full story at the NYT

======================================================

It’s another example of USA tax dollars at work – in Finland:

From ABC News, Oct 20th, 2011:

With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.

Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department’s $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs. But two years after the loan was announced, the company’s manufacturing jobs are still limited to the assembly of the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car in Finland.

=======================================================

Let’s do the math.

239 cars produced for 2012 model year.

$529,000,000 USD in Government loans

That works out to $2,213,389 (2.2 million) per car.

Selling price $103,000 USD, that leaves only $2,110,389 in taxpayer funded overhead per vehicle. And, they’ve only sold 50 so far.

Such a deal.

Of course, when your promotion strategy revolves around a sitcom based on Charlie Sheen, such things are bound to happen:

Full story at GreenCarReports.com

The 2012 Fisker, the peoples car affordable to Internet billionaires and Hollywood actors, fire extinguisher not included.

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113 Responses to Bad electric Karma

  1. kim says:

    Half a billion here, half a billion there, pretty soon we’re talking about dollars and sense.
    ==============

  2. kim says:

    Actually, I want one. Fire hazard be damned, the local beknighted university is offering free recharges, for now, in a vain attempt to encourage electric car use.
    ===========

  3. polistra says:

    You don’t need fancy marketing surveys to figure out that pure electric cars are a two-digit market!

    Most active families drive more than 30 miles a day, and they can’t count on having 8 hours to recharge. Electric is out of the question for them.

    For an inactive senior in an urban area (like me), an electric would be within my range limits… but my transport needs are already covered by bus and foot. My transportation is exactly $45 a month, and there’s no way an electric car would pay for itself. Besides, I need the exercise!

    For an inactive senior in a small town, the grocery store or post office or relatives are likely to be in the next town. She may drive only once a week, but each trip is more than 30 miles.

    In short, the people who can afford it don’t fit within the range limits, and the people who fit in the range limits don’t need it.

  4. Andrew says:

    I tried commenting at the NYT’s 24 hours ago. There was one comment then, and one comment now. This article is in the ‘automobile’ section so it probably slipped past editors…censors…but you know the NEW YORK TIMES is afraid to have any kind of substantive debate about climate change or global warming. Here are my comments that the Times has decided is not in their best interest…so they are not publishing it…which is their right…

    “I am sure glad all those tax dollars from the middle class went to this wonderful car company. Thank you Al Gore. Thank you President Obama.

    Will this delay those Green Jobs in Delaware you were bragging about Vice President Biden?

    Is it legal for Al Gore’s venture capital firm to lobby for a loan to be given to a company like this? I seem to remember some sort of NASD regulation about that…oh wait, its FINRA now…they had to change the name after Bernie Madoff…I think”

  5. Somebody needs a post explaining what karma is, yeah?

  6. RomanM says:

    Stark Dick:

    Using Google, the first entry said:

    kar·ma/ˈkärmə/
    Noun:

    1. (in Hinduism and Buddhism) The sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in…
    2. Destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

    The second definition seems to be applicable here.

    Would the humor be more obvious to you if the title read: Bad Electric Kar-ma ?

  7. kim says:

    My Karma electrocuted my Dogma.
    ==========

  8. Karma is Patchy choo choo reincarnating as a sacred cow, but in a feed lot in Amarillo Texas surrounded by wind turbines for the next 100 lives.

  9. R. de Haan says:

    The Fisker Karma, just like the Chevy Volt is a car for idiots.

    The remark about the Chevy volt comes from the Audi Director USA.
    “The Chevy Volt is a car that only appeals to preening schmoes and will fall flat on its face.
    Or so says Audi of America president, Johan de Nysschen, who went off on the Chevy Volt and electric cars in general, with Lawrence Ulrich of MSN’s Exhaust Notes.

    Nysschen tells Ulrich, “No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla…They’re for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are…so there are not enough idiots who will buy it.”

    Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2009-09-03/green_sheet/30041182_1_electric-cars-cleaner-cars-chevy-volt#ixzz1iE4Jpyg2

    Hybrids only have an advantage under heavy -stop and go- traffic use.
    The moment you’re cruising at higher speeds the additional weigh of drive drive line quickly eliminates the advantages.

  10. H.R. says:

    I want one.

    I’ll wait ’til one shows up in my local flea market and then POW! I’ll snag one of those beauties on the cheap.

  11. kbray in california says:

    If we can’t make it here, you have no business mandating it.
    It’s now apparently beyond our current ability.
    The usa is like a third world country now.
    Manufacturing?… we don’t do that anymore, it’s beneath us.
    America can thank the bean-counters.
    It is suicide to export your know how, machinery, and manufacturing ability.
    Bring it back, baby…

  12. Petrossa says:

    Soon as i become an internet billionaire i’ll buy one. With fire supressant.

  13. nofreewind says:

    I just read the recent book by NYT’s columnist Thomas Friedman – “That Used To Us”. Throughout the book he sprinkles all kinds of references to how our future will be the electric car. And how the Gov’t must subsidize it now to compete with fossil fuel etc etc. Funny, how he left all this kind of stuff out. The devil is in the details. He did the same thing with his chapter on global warming – The War on Physics.

  14. Jimash says:

    “R. de Haan says:
    January 1, 2012 at 9:00 am
    The Fisker Karma, just like the Chevy Volt is a car for idiots.

    The remark about the Chevy volt comes from the Audi Director USA.
    “The Chevy Volt is a car that only appeals to preening schmoes and will fall flat on its face.
    Or so says Audi of America president, Johan de Nysschen, who went off on the Chevy Volt and electric cars in general, with Lawrence Ulrich of MSN’s Exhaust Notes.

    Nysschen tells Ulrich, “No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla…They’re for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are…so there are not enough idiots who will buy it.”

    Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2009-09-03/green_sheet/30041182_1_electric-cars-cleaner-cars-chevy-volt#ixzz1iE4Jpyg2

    Hybrids only have an advantage under heavy -stop and go- traffic use.
    The moment you’re cruising at higher speeds the additional weigh of drive drive line quickly eliminates the advantages.”

    True of the Volt.
    Maybe also true of Toyota hybrids.
    Honda Hybrids excel on the highway.
    I have two 50-60 mpg highway hybrids, a Civic Hybrid and a 2010 Insight.
    I may not believe in AGW but I do believe in MPG.

  15. Jeff Alberts says:

    My wife and I were out looking at new cars last night. We’re looking for an economy car that gets good gas mileage (around 40mpg) but is 15k or less. Hard to find.

    And I noticed all the car stickers now have a “Global Warming Index” on them, at least Toyota and Honda did. I’m in Washington State, so apparently Cali has infected the rest of the world.

    http://www.themustangnews.com/fomoco_08/st-0608crap132.htm

  16. Nick Shaw says:

    So, Two and a Half Men substituted one train wreak for another?
    Makes one wonder if Algore has money in both the car company and the show, eh?

  17. tallbloke says:

    Pity Halon fire extinguishers were banned by the ozone hole worriers.

  18. Tenuc says:

    H.R. says:
    January 1, 2012 at 9:00 am
    “I want one.

    I’ll wait ’til one shows up in my local flea market and then POW! I’ll snag one of those beauties on the cheap.”

    Me too… Then I’ll slip in a 3L petrol supercharged six and have a great vehicle. Will be great for traffic light burn ups… :-)

  19. Pamela Gray says:

    Shocking. Just shocking. Oh well. Maybe Obama wants a new job. Selling hot cars.

  20. evilincandescentbulb says:

    Leftist bureaucracy’s use of global warming scare tactics as a means for social change has been a fire bomb in the hands of the liberal mob.

  21. wsbriggs says:

    polistra says:
    January 1, 2012 at 8:24 am
    Right! The two middle fingers of Friendship! Both are directed at the taxpayers.

  22. treegyn1 says:

    polistra says:
    January 1, 2012 at 8:24 am

    “…In short, the people who can afford it don’t fit within the range limits, and the people who fit in the range limits don’t need it.”

    Sadly, the ultimate goal of the progressive left is to force us all into little boxes in big cities, the better to control the peasants. The micro-range of the electric car is but one cog in the machine.

  23. PaulH says:

    It *is* a sharp looking car. :-) I’d like one with a twin-turbo inline-6, but I’m not holding my breath. ;->

  24. Andrew says:

    @ tallbloke

    Halon, pretty safe stuff as I recall. Didn’t the Germans use it for their submarines? You can breath it and the fire goes out.

    I am surprised CO2 extinguishers have not been banned yet.

  25. Frank K. says:

    “With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.”

    Please remember this when you’re asked to make sacrifices and PAY TAXES in the name of global warming…

    Also, please remember this in November. My vote this November will be entirely based on who can take down the bloated, wasteful, unneeded, government-back climate industry the fastest…

  26. Frank K. says:

    PaulH says:
    January 1, 2012 at 9:56 am

    It *is* a sharp looking car. :-)

    Well, for $100,000+ you’d better get a good looking car! :^)

  27. Bryan A says:

    Interestingly…on the subject of Google Searches and WUWT…I did a Google search for the first “Tag” (Electric Car) and WUWT didn’t show up through Pg 52 so I added the “Second Tag” (Finland) to the Google Search and this story finally appeared but on Pg 13
    Boy Anthony, Google really doesn’t like you

  28. Curious Canuck says:

    tallbloke says:
    January 1, 2012 at 9:32 am
    Pity Halon fire extinguishers were banned by the ozone hole worriers.

    So true. For boats these have been replaced with CO2 …. somehow I don’t think they’d like the optics on that though. :D

  29. Lutther Wu says:

    All show and no go.

  30. trbixler says:

    Mr. Green and company Obama, Jackson and Peolsi are still smiling think of those campaign dollars. Wonder if the brought a couple to Hawaii to test drive, why not?

  31. Sal Minella says:

    Subsidy for Fisker – $529 Million. Subsidy for Chevy Volt – $1.5 Billion. Spontaneous electric car combustion on a cold winter day – priceless.

  32. DirkH says:

    How about calling the next model Fisker Insha’Allah.

    Or how about an Electric car deathmatch – in which you place a Chevy Volt and a Fisker Karma on the opposing ends of a parking lot and wait. The car that doesn’t burst into flames wins.

  33. DirkH says:

    Andrew says:
    January 1, 2012 at 10:04 am
    “Halon, pretty safe stuff as I recall. Didn’t the Germans use it for their submarines? You can breath it and the fire goes out. ”

    The purpose of Halon is to displace air, specifically the oxygen, so a Halon fire extinguisher will leave you with nothing to breath. You can surely breath the Halon but the lack of Oxygen still kills you, and pretty fast.

  34. crosspatch says:

    Here’s the most serious problem I have with this: The selling price is $103,000. Now exactly who is going to spend $103,000 for a car? Who spends that kind of money for any car?

    So we have subsidies from US taxpayers subsidizing the manufacture of these. Then in many states we have subsidies for purchasing them. Again, paid for by the taxpayers. If your state has a sales tax, the poorest of your state’s poor are subsidizing a car only the very rich can afford to buy. People struggling to make ends meet as it is are being forced to subsidize a toy for the rich.

    That’s just plain wrong.

  35. 1 Volt = $250,000+

    Is this the start of a new law of car creationism, one in line with Kar-mic (mike test, mike test…) principles…..”Om’s Law” perhaps? Everyone gaze at your navels and repeat this mantra after me…our money is not important….our money is not important….

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2826408/posts

  36. crosspatch says:

    My wife and I were out looking at new cars last night. We’re looking for an economy car that gets good gas mileage (around 40mpg) but is 15k or less. Hard to find.

    I would go with a Volkswagen Jetta TDI (diesel) but that’s a bit out of the $15K range.

  37. littlepeaks says:

    From the cited ABC News article:

    “Henrik Fisker said the U.S. money has been spent on engineering and design work that stayed in the U.S., not on the 500 manufacturing jobs that went to a rural Finnish firm, Valmet Automotive. ”

    It costs a half billion dollars for engineering and design work?!? And Henrik Fisker is not an American — he is European. The video on the ABC News site says that they will start producing these cars in the Delaware in 2012 or later. Maybe if we all hold our breath awaiting this, we can reduce our CO2 contributions.

    BTW, my wife drives a 2008 Honda Oddysey. The van flawlessly switches between 6, 4, and 3 cylinders, the only indication of this happening is an “ECO” indicator light appearing on the dashboard. It gets fairly decent mileage — even stays in the ECO mode doing 75 mph on fairly level expressways. I’m impressed. (Getting OT — sorry).

  38. Smokey says:

    A related article. It’s all about the money, as usual.

  39. Mike McMillan says:

    That leaves more corn for tamales and George Dickel.

  40. linearthinker says:

    @ crosspatch says:
    January 1, 2012 at 10:39 am
    Same fundamental principle applies to Cash for Clunkers.
    “…That’s just plain wrong.”

  41. FerdinandAkin says:

    From the NYT article:
    “…workers at the Valmet Automotive assembly plant in Finland noticed coolant dripping. “,/i>
    and
    “…some hose clamps were not properly positioned, which could allow a coolant leak. “If coolant enters the battery compartment an electrical short could possibly occur, causing a thermal event within the battery, including a possible fire”

    Somewhere in the back of my mind a little voice is saying, “This is a made up, cover story to get the cars back to the dealer to fix a real problem.”
    Electric car manufactures may have discovered cost cutting measures in assembling the Nanophosphate Lithium-Ion Battery is presenting a safety issue. They are at the crossroads of balancing cost/weight against safety. Increase the cost, the car fails. Allow them to burn up at random, the car fails. This is a terrible dilemma for the environmentalists to be in.

  42. Justa Joe says:

    Let’s see. This car is the ideal car for a guy that can afford to spend +$100K for a personal luxury car, but considers purchasing gasoline at $3.50/gallon to be overwhelmingly costly, ok.

    To satisfy this broad demographic of car purchasers the progressives in the govt will finance this vehicle to the tune of $2.2million/copy and give the buyer a $7.5K bonus with tax payer dollars. However, if an average Joe wants to buy a Shelby GT500 with his own money the progressives in the govt will hit the guy with $5 – 7.5K in additional “gas guzzler” taxes. This is so fair it’s incredible.

  43. RS says:

    Why has the government forsaken the green mega-yacht industry?
    Can’t we get a few billion in subsidies to create hydrogen powered yachts to reduce the incredible guilt and suffering of owners of AGW causing diesel mega-yachts?

  44. ShrNfr says:

    Another investment in a FOO™ (Friend Of Obama) company gone bad. Gosh, would it be too much to ask Big Al Gorge (who demonstrates inflation in the time-space continuum every day) to put up some of his own money? Why do I have to get taxed to pay for this POS (Piece Of Scheiswurst). I mean I am not against all electrics, I even have one in my back yard. Top speed 70 mph, 40 mile range. But really, do we have to make this AGW fraud cost the taxpayers to feed big AL?

  45. evilincandescentbulb says:

    At least it is a 54-state car…

  46. evilincandescentbulb says:

    … or, is it 57?

  47. James Sexton says:

    Is everyone feeling stimulated, yet? Keynes would be proud. Gee, I just can’t figure out why even after the stimulus we can’t shake the economic doldrums. Given the failure of the renewable energy plans and the closing of the coal plants, has anyone wondered where we’d get the energy to charge these fire hazards if electric cars became widely adopted? Morons.

  48. Dan in California says:

    DirkH says: January 1, 2012 at 10:26 am
    Andrew says: January 1, 2012 at 10:04 am
    “Halon, pretty safe stuff as I recall. Didn’t the Germans use it for their submarines? You can breath it and the fire goes out. ”

    The purpose of Halon is to displace air, specifically the oxygen, so a Halon fire extinguisher will leave you with nothing to breath. You can surely breath the Halon but the lack of Oxygen still kills you, and pretty fast.
    ————————————————————————-
    Err, no. Halon works kinda like a catalyst. It preferentially occupies chemical binding sites on the fuel and prevents oxygen from combining with the fuel (all you real chemists out there: I know this is over simplified). CO2 is not as good at fire suppression as halon because it does just displace air which excludes oxygen in a bulk manner. CO2 is also slightly more dense than air, so it settles onto the fuel a bit better than nitrogen used as a fire suppressant. This means that CO2 is no better than nitrogen for fighting fires on the Space Station where density is no advantage in weightless conditions.

    The toxicity problem with halon is that in a fire, some of it is partially pyrolized into really nasty toxic chlorofluorocarbons. It’s great for fighting the fire, but you need to get away when you’re done.

    When the manufacture of new halon was made illegal, Boeing went around to commercial computer installations and replaced the halon systems for free and installed CO2 systems. Why? Because a halon fire suppression system in a 747 weighs a thousand kg less than a CO2 system with comparable performance.

  49. ES says:

    Al Gore has interests in Fisker Automotive.
    Fisker’s top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a veteran Silicon Valley venture-capital firm of which Gore is a partner. Employees of KPCB have donated more than $2.2 million to political campaigns, mostly for Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign contributions.
    Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125383160812639013.html#MARK

  50. Nigel S says:

    Leather all over an eco car? Still, everybody else got skinned so why not a few cows?

    Happy New Year, the madness continues…

  51. Nigel S says:

    Sorry, forgot to say, this is the quote of the week.

    kim says:
    January 1, 2012 at 8:56 am
    My Karma electrocuted my Dogma.
    ==========

  52. Beesaman says:

    As someone who spent many years as an electrical/electronics engineer I’m quite interested in the concept of hybrid vehicles, I just wish they received grants due to their technological merits not their politcal value. As for all electric cars, well my university has no charging points, besides I believe that those vehicles should be termed, DPVs, Displacement Pollution Vehicles, if we are going to be honest about them.

  53. Mac the Knife says:

    Revolting!
    The financial mugging and raping of America is everyday, front page news…. and hardly draws a raised eyebrow by the mainstream media or the majority of citizens.
    Revolting…..

  54. Mac the Knife says:

    James Sexton says:
    January 1, 2012 at 11:39 am
    “Is everyone feeling stimulated, yet?”.

    No. As I politely instructed all progressive socialists back in Feb 2009, “Get your greedy, grasping, wealth redistributing hands out of my pockets ’cause I do NOT find it stimulating!”

  55. evilincandescentbulb says:

    How about requiring that all cars carry fire extinguishers… that will help save the economy and by extension American society and revive the culture of dead and dying Europe, no?

  56. LazyTeenager says:

    Well I followed the link and read the article.

    Can someone explain to me how “loan guarantee” was magically transformed into “loan” in the original article. As far as I can tell if it’s a guarantee it means the federal gov is NOT providing the 529 million.

    There is also in the article the explicit assertion that the 529 million of presumably US funds, wherever they came from, is NOT being spent in Finland. How come that information disappeared?

    I know you guys are going to get all excited by this, but maybe the facts need to be checked first.

  57. Nick says:

    Related and a bigger issue. Are you aware that there are only 80 million people in the USA of generation X who have had 40 million kids?

    EEErrrr, Mr Obama. Your running out of other peoples money çause your running out of productive people. There’s not going to be enough productive people to pay all this back!

    This is repeated throughout Europe and the rest of the West, I’d suggest.

  58. Retired Engineer says:

    I wondered how one would heat an electric car in winter. Would drain the battery rather quickly. Fisker seems to have solved that.

  59. Andrew says:

    How much carbon does a burning car give off? Oops I just tripped over somebody’s carbon footprint….

    Does anybody know who the 50 people are that currently own a Dogma…i mean a Karma?

    http://socyberty.com/politics/dicaprio-the-first-who-owns-a-fisker-karma-fisker-karma-was-lauched/
    Dicaprio must be bumming…who else?

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1070132_electric-car-hating-top-gear-names-fisker-karma-luxury-car-of-the-year

    What is the BBC going to say about their Luxury Car of the Year now?
    http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/top-gear-magazine-awards-issue-out-now-2011-11-30#

  60. Smokey says:

    Lazy Teen,

    A loan guarantee is the same as co-signing for a teenager’s loan so he can buy a car. If the car loan isn’t repaid [think Solyndra, or Fisker], then the co-signers [the taxpayers] are on the hook. See?

  61. James Sexton says:

    Mac the Knife says:
    January 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    James Sexton says:
    January 1, 2012 at 11:39 am
    “Is everyone feeling stimulated, yet?”.

    No. As I politely instructed all progressive socialists back in Feb 2009, “Get your greedy, grasping, wealth redistributing hands out of my pockets ’cause I do NOT find it stimulating!”
    =================================================
    Exactly, this is what happens when people who don’t understand basic economics are put in charge. They have huge capital outlays for fantasy programs with very little chance of success.

  62. Taphonomic says:

    Can the 99% afford one? Where is Occupy Fisker?

  63. Al Gored says:

    The other problems I read about related to the fire hazard in one kind of battery they use.

    Seems the logical solution is just longer extension cords.

  64. richard verney says:

    My dad had an electric car approximately 20 years ago. He lived a few miles out of town so it was great for popping in to town and doing some shopping. However, the range was very much less than advertised. He lived in a mountainous area and 30 miles of driving in such terrain really took its toll on performance. Even worse at night with headlights draining the battery, or in winter with the heater and windscreen wipers draining the battery.

    It was rather a novelty in the area and if my dad went to a restaurant or pub (or even out of town shopping area), he always got his car charged up for free. The proprietor was only too happy to roll out an extension lead to that the car could be plugged into the mains. This did, of course, help extend the range a little bit.

    Electric cars have no doubt come on a bit since then but they are not a practical proposition for most users and save no CO2 until such time as electricity is generated by non CO2 emitting renewables.

    Presently, the environmental claims surrounding the use of electric cars is a scam

  65. Merovign says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s sharp looking. It looks like a copy of a BMW M8 that was sat on by someone heavy.

    And the M8 is not that much of a looker either, IMHO.

    We just plain need *much* lighter batteries before I will even start to care about electric cars.

    Despite the age of the technology, it’s still in it’s infancy for lack of materiel advances. We’re in a position where the government is trying to impose an immature form of the technology. It’s almost as if the use of DC power distribution was mandated at the expense of AC, leading to a world where long-distance power delivery was prohibitively difficult.

  66. Andrew says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    January 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm
    Well I followed the link and read the article.

    “Can someone explain to me how “loan guarantee” was magically transformed into “loan” in the original article. As far as I can tell if it’s a guarantee it means the federal gov is NOT providing the 529 million.”

    It’s not MAGIC its called Solyndra.

    “There is also in the article the explicit assertion that the 529 million of presumably US funds, wherever they came from, is NOT being spent in Finland. How come that information disappeared?”

    Stop being ‘lazy’ and learn some basic economics like the concept of fungibility

    ….and I forget your last point LazyTeenager…what was it?

  67. u.k.(us) says:

    I love it when Anthony gets really pissed off :)

  68. JPeden says:

    Under federal regulations dealers may not sell the remaining new models until the recall is completed.

    Sprinkler systems and foam bags?

  69. James Sexton says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    January 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Well I followed the link and read the article.

    Can someone explain to me how “loan guarantee” was magically transformed into “loan” in the original article. As far as I can tell if it’s a guarantee it means the federal gov is NOT providing the 529 million. …….
    ==========================================================
    LT, that’s hardly the point. The point is, 1/2 billion dollars is taken out of the capital pool and thrown away on a senseless venture. The money could have been used to open a steel fab plant to help build a pipeline. Instead, it was thrown away. Now, the question is, when this company goes belly up, will the U.S. be on the hook for the loan? Well, we guaranteed it. So, if we are, 1/2 billion out of the capital pool, another 1/2 billion as a federal expenditure. All for what? Some insipidly stupid fantasy of perpetual motion. In the mean time, we have millions looking for work in the U.S.

    These loans and stimuli have done incredible harm to the U.S.economy and people. Clearly, the socialists in charge are out of their depth.

  70. DirkH says:

    Fisker Keynes.

  71. Luther Wu says:

    Nick says:
    January 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Related and a bigger issue. Are you aware that there are only 80 million people in the USA of generation X who have had 40 million kids?

    EEErrrr, Mr Obama. Your running out of other peoples money çause your running out of productive people. There’s not going to be enough productive people to pay all this back!

    This is repeated throughout Europe and the rest of the West, I’d suggest.
    __________________________
    It’s even worse than that.
    Ever increasing numbers of each generation are born into families well versed in the tradition of ‘entitlement’ existence and will never be more than a drag on the system their entire lives.
    This will all be offset somewhat by the fact that the 13 million or so illegals will have jobs and 43.16 million offspring with potential to become gainfully employed, which will in turn be offset somewhat by the several millions of infirm, aged and otherwise non- working illegal family members still at home awaiting the coyote’s fee and who will also become a drain on resources.

  72. TimO says:

    $2million a car, $4million a car… IT’S JUST IMAGINARY NUMBERS to them.
    None of the bozos on Capitol hill pay their own bills, buy their own gas or meals.
    The just sign and go on while we foot their bills….

  73. “They’re for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are…so there are not enough idiots who will buy it.”

    Hmmm… I’m not so sure. ‘Intellectual elites’ are stuffed to the gunnels with idiots. Thus it has always been:
    Acts 17:21: “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.”

  74. SamG says:

    239 car recall?
    -That’s nothing.

  75. Ralph says:

    >>>tallbloke says: January 1, 2012 at 9:32 am
    >>>Pity Halon fire extinguishers were banned by the ozone hole worriers.

    But not for aircraft – yet. Halon is the only thing that will keep you safe when a fire breaks out at 40,000 ft. But the Greens still want to ban it, because they really do not care about anyone, except whales and dolphins.

    But the Greenie zealots did manage to ban the water repellent for windscreens. So if you are ever landing in heavy rain, you will be pleased to know that the pilots now have to land by braille. Honestly, we cannot see a thing sometimes. This was not helped by Billy Boeing fixing the windscreen wipers. Originally these were rejects from the Model ‘T’, and used to sound like a Kenworth W900 on a 25% gradient. The fix was simple – install a smaller motor, and reduce the wiper pressure on the windscreen to a level where they simply do not work. Thanks, Billy.

    You know, I spent the first 25 years of my life with technology and society surging upwards, but we crested the hill in 1985, and it has been downhill from then on.

    .

  76. J Cuttance says:

    dear America, it’s a shame our glorious electric car project didn’t work out.
    If you could just pop that $500 million we agreed to in the mail, that would be dandy.
    Thanks so much, sincerely etc.
    Finland.

  77. DirkH says:

    J Cuttance says:
    January 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm
    “dear America, it’s a shame our glorious electric car project didn’t work out.”

    They’re not bankrupt yet; don’t confuse them with the Norwegian and later Finnish “Think” which is. (again – the company goes broke every few years)
    “The A-to-Z of Going Broke Building EVs”
    http://evworld.com/blogs/index.cfm?authorid=12&blogid=1013&archive=1

  78. johanna says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    January 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Well I followed the link and read the article.

    Can someone explain to me how “loan guarantee” was magically transformed into “loan” in the original article. As far as I can tell if it’s a guarantee it means the federal gov is NOT providing the 529 million.

    There is also in the article the explicit assertion that the 529 million of presumably US funds, wherever they came from, is NOT being spent in Finland. How come that information disappeared?

    I know you guys are going to get all excited by this, but maybe the facts need to be checked first.
    ————————————————————
    LT, what do you think the prospects are for this project to ever break even, let alone make a profit? Would you put your personal assets on the line for it?

    When (not if) they go bust, taxpayers will have just copped another quick half a billion of their hard earned money down the toilet. I bet the executives are well paid, with nice golden parachutes, though.

    The Green Economy strikes again.

  79. And, as others have mentioned, those batteries have to supply ALL the car’s power.

    But, there’s more: (from here: http://www.wday.com/event/article/id/54206/)

    “…Area car dealers can hardly keep them on the lot. The popularity of electric cars continues skyrocket and with that trend, comes concerns from firefighters. As more electric cars hit the highways and city streets, fire departments are now going through special training. The reason??? High voltage electricity.

    Fargo Firefighter and training officer Captain Lee Soeth knows it is a matter of time before he and other firefighters are confronted with working an accident scene involving electric cars.

    That is why fire departments around the nation are now going through special training. The big concern is obvious – Electricity. A lot of it.

    Captain Lee Soeth – Fargo Fire Department: “Very high voltage that can run through it there is a high voltage wire that runs from the back to the front.”

    Because firefighters are first on scene to remove victims trapped in cars, there is concern over the batteries and electric cables and wires that power the car.

    Captain Lee Soeth: “They are either bright orange or bright yellow or blue power cord the big thing is you never cut them enough voltage you could kill someone on the spot.”

    But another challenge for firefighters nationwide is that electric cars are being built with lighter but stronger metal, and the Jaws of Life used to cut through cars to rescue victims cannot cut through the metal. Moorhead Firefighter Rick Loveland leads the Minnesota Board of Fire Training and Education. He trains fire departments on rescuing victims from electric cars.

    Richard Loveland – Moorhead Fire/MN Fire Training and Education: “The main thing is where to cut. We are taking high voltage, in some up to 500 volts running through, the nice thing is they are labeled. So our guys have to peel apart the car before they tear it apart.”

    And firefighters are being trained on where exactly they can cut the car, since that has changed. The Department of Energy is funding training for fire departments across the country. Fargo and Moorhead are both getting firefighters up to speed on the training so when emergencies come up, they are protected as well while trying to rescue those injured. It is estimated that one million electric cars will be on our highways by 2015…”

    Notice that the DoE has to fund the training. Even MORE tax dollars drained out…

  80. Dr. John M. Ware says:

    For the person seeking a cheap car with good gas mileage: I own two Geo Metro automobiles. The 1991 car is now 21 years old, doesn’t look like much, but gets 53-55 miles per gallon. The 2000 car still looks OK (though the inner roof is held in place by staples) and gets 45 miles per gallon. Both cars still pass inspection every year and are still fun to drive. Why not resurrect the best features of these cars and make more of them? The 1991 cost $7000 new, and the 2000 cost maybe $10,500, also new. Think about it.

  81. jorgekafkazar says:

    Tenuc says: “…I’ll slip in a 3L petrol supercharged six and have a great vehicle. Will be great for traffic light burn ups… :-)”

    I’m not sure you’ll get an inline six to fit. Best bet: rebuilt VW or Porsche flat four, or new aircraft engine.

  82. Reed Coray says:

    The recall of the Karma leaves a gaping hole in the $100,000 “go-nowhere car market.” I’m looking for investors. I want to build a sleek-looking $99,999.99 car that has no engine. Think of all the CO2 that won’t pollute the atmosphere. Think of all the good-looking chicks/guys that will flock to you as you sit in your parked car on Broadway with your nose in the air feeling so superior. Motive power will be hockey sticks–used either as poles to push the car or as oars when in the near future New York floods. The sales price will include one year’s supply of hockey sticks, two of which will be signed by Michael Mann himself. The car may not catch on, but it is guaranteed not to “catch on fire.”

  83. ShrNfr says:

    @evilincandescentbulb Well, it may just be a superposition of states and all. You can’t really count how many. At any second, there is a non-zero (but very, very, very small) probability that you might have 1,000 states. Who wudda thunk that Obama grocked quantum theory and Lie groups. Of course his definition of Lie groups is a bit different than mine, but that is something else I guess.

  84. ecoGuy says:

    “Karma Chameleon – you come and go.. you come and go..”

    The question is does Boy George drive one?

  85. evilincandescentbulb says:

    To the socialist wannabe keepers of the hive the onle true “peoples car” is a elevator in NYC or Boston and a train of black government SUVs to ferry the peoples’ leaders to and fro in safety and security.

  86. Konrad says:

    Recalled due to fire hazard? Where is the Volt PR team when you need them. When a Volt bursts into flame they simply describe it as a “Thermal Event”.

  87. George E. Smith; says:

    Do ANY of you folks have any clue at all about this wondrous Fisker Karma Electric car; a 125 MPH electric car no less.
    It was in fact the front page story in the Sunday, Jan 1 San Jose Mercury News, which I received on Saturday Dec 31st; lat year. That alone had me wondering; but after reading the two Karma articles I realized it was actually the April 1st 2012 news paper; not Jan first.
    This 100,000 to 120,000 electric sports car even has a shaped roof of solar cells to charge the battery so the car can run forever in daylight. My guess is that it might have ten square feet of solar cells, which in Northern California can probably get a whole quarter horsepower of juice, to run your green machine. It is also quite heavy, about 5,000 pounds, and yet it can go from zero to sixty MPH in 6.3 seconds, and it is good for 50 miles, although they don’t claim that it will do 50 miles at 125 MPH.
    Actually, the Karma is more like the Toyota Pius, in that in addition to the all electric drive system, the Karma like the Pius, has an auxilliary gas engine. I don’t know how big the Toyota aux engine is, but the Karma one is 403 Horsepower, so it can charge the battery a bit faster than the solar cells.

    So if you are a fan of all electric cars, and you don’t mind carrying a 403 horse gas engine for emergency use, in the trunk, then the Fisker Karma is the electric car for you. I see that you can extend the 50 mile range to 250 miles if you use the auxilliary gas engine.

  88. johanna says:

    George E. Smith, you need to get with the program. At least you have grasped that something which extends the range of a vehicle x 5 using completely different technology is an ‘auxiliary’. This is the kind of language that reaps rich rewards in the Grantosphere. :)

  89. DanJ says:

    My fellows, Americans, a few points from Finland:

    The Valmet Automotive plant in Finland is an independent factory producing relatively small series of specialty models for bigger manufacturers. Porsche Boxsters, SAAB convertibles and such have been built there. Making a car in a plant that is already up and running, with a trained workforce and a network of suppliers, makes good business sense.

    Now, these are of course good industrial jobs and I’m sure they would be most welcome in any US state also. And the loan guarantee (not loan or subsidy) for Fisker by the US gov, should give said government some say in where the money is spent. Apparently later models are to be assembled in a newly built US factory. We’ll see how it works out. The current model make for less risk, and less benefit, for the US taxpayer.

    As for the general concept of the car, well, at least they are not misleadingly claiming it will save you money, as the compact EV:s are supposed to do.

  90. Ralph says:

    >>>Captain Lee Soeth – Fargo Fire Department: “Very high voltage
    >>>that can run through it there is a high voltage wire that runs from
    >>>the back to the front.”

    Excuse my ignorance, but I thought these things ran on low voltage and high amperage…? What, exactly, is the voltage of the motors they use?

    .

  91. Ulrich Elkmann says:

    Reminds you of the old joke: Q: You produce light bulbs [*ahem*] at 10 cent per bulb and you sell them at 9 cent a bulb. How do you hope to gain a profit? A: You don’t understand. If you really do it in bulk…

  92. ozspeaksup says:

    Richard Holle says:
    January 1, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Karma is Patchy choo choo reincarnating as a sacred cow, but in a feed lot in Amarillo Texas surrounded by wind turbines for the next 100 lives.
    ============
    :-)
    or gore manbearpig in a CAFO piggery, with lipstick ,making methane

  93. Matt says:

    Did the designer stare at a BMW Z8 for too long before scetching this?

  94. Justa Joe says:

    jorgekafkazar says:
    January 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm
    Tenuc says: “…I’ll slip in a 3L petrol supercharged six and have a great vehicle. Will be great for traffic light burn ups… :-)”
    ——————————
    Unlikely… this tank weighs ~5,300 pounds as it sits. You’d still be way under powered. Well I guess you could gut the thing and maybe get it down to a still too heavy 4000 lbs.

  95. evilincandescentbulb says:

    From the instruction manual: “As with any battery-operated device avoid dropping your Fisker Karma in the toilet.”

  96. evilincandescentbulb says:

    The Medium is the Message:

    How do you know Fisker is a scam?

    It’s not made in China.

  97. Justa Joe says:

    China isn’t really a major player in automoblie mfr’ing.

  98. evilincandescentbulb says:

    nor Finland but China has billions more users of this technology–blessed by the Leftist-liberal bureaucracy–that would save the Earth from human-produced evil CO2, right?

  99. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” johanna says:

    January 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    George E. Smith, you need to get with the program. At least you have grasped that something which extends the range of a vehicle x 5 using completely different technology is an ‘auxiliary’. This is the kind of language that reaps rich rewards in the Grantosphere. :) “””””

    Well Johanna; I’ll cut ya some slack, since you seem to have figured out the Karmascam too. The idea that a “green” hybrid, should require a 403 Horsepower auxilliary power source to back up its “electric” power train system, is absurd.

    This overweight heap of junk is simply a Detroitosaurus Maximus muscle car that has its electric starter motor connected to the cubic gas guzzler via the transmission in such a way, that the starter motor can also drive the wheels with the smogger discombobulated; using a slightly oversized Sears Diehard starter battery.

    I once owned (1962-4) a 1956 XK-140 Jaguar hard top coupe that had a special high compression 210 HP engine, instead of the standard 180 Hp motor. That car could climb trees. My present 2010 model Subaru Legacy has a 170 HP engine, and I can’t even imagine using the 265 HP six cyclinder engine; let alone a 403 HP one.

    A true electric hybrid, would have a small gas engine that only ran at one speed where it was most efficient in driving an alternator charging the battery at the most efficient rate. Having it drive the wheels is silly and unnecessarily complicated.

  100. jorgekafkazar says:

    Justa Joe says: “…this tank weighs ~5,300 pounds as it sits. You’d still be way under powered. Well I guess you could gut the thing and maybe get it down to a still too heavy 4000 lbs.”

    The weight is mostly batteries and associated electric components, like motors. I suspect a stripped chassis would be closer to 2000 pounds. With V-8 engine, maybe 3000, if it will fit. With aircraft engine, 2500,

  101. Dan in California says:

    Ralph says: January 2, 2012 at 12:12 am
    >>>Captain Lee Soeth – Fargo Fire Department: “Very high voltage
    >>>that can run through it there is a high voltage wire that runs from
    >>>the back to the front.”
    Excuse my ignorance, but I thought these things ran on low voltage and high amperage…? What, exactly, is the voltage of the motors they use?
    —————————————————————–
    I couldn’t find the specification for the Fisker, but the battery pack in a car like this typically runs at about 300 Volts (Chevy Volt is 300 V, Nissan Leaf 360 V). Fisker’s stated 403 HP from the electrics translates to 300 KW, so that would be 1000 Amps at 300 Volts. Standard cars use a 12 Volt cranking/lighting/ignition battery, and Military vehicles mostly use 24 VDC. Thus the statements about the Fisker’s “high voltage battery”

    I did find the specs on the roof mounted photovoltaic array. In a sunny place, if left outside all day, it will generate 500 W-Hr, or about enough to add 1 km to the car’s daily range.

    Anthony: What’s the battery pack voltage in your car?

  102. Dan in California says:

    Justa Joe says: January 2, 2012 at 10:31 am
    China isn’t really a major player in automoblie mfr’ing.
    ————————————————————————-
    China claims to be the world’s biggest car manufacturer by vehicle unit volume. I call that a major player. Here’s a reference from China daily claiming they overtook the USA in 2009:
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2010-02/03/content_9420521.htm

    According to Bloomburg more recently:
    “Vehicle sales in China rose 2.6 percent during the first 11 months of this year, with passenger car sales increasing 5.3 percent to 13.1 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. China’s vehicle sales gained by a record 32 percent in 2010.
    Slowing Deliveries

    The nation’s automobile manufacturers association estimated that 2011 deliveries may grow by the least in 13 years as a rollback in policies aimed at encouraging buyers curtailed purchases.

    LMC estimates that China’s light vehicle capacity, which doesn’t include production of minivans and trucks, may grow more than 40 percent to 27 million units annually between 2010 and 2012. The automobile manufacturers association’s category for passenger cars includes minivans.”

    reference: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-29/china-stops-encouraging-investment-in-auto-manufacturing-after-sales-slow.html

  103. Brian H says:

    DirkH;
    disappointed you’re buying the “fire hazard” stuff so easily. The one Volt in question that burst into flames was sitting unattended on a lot for weeks after a test side-crash into a phone pole that totalled it. It was left fully charged, never even checked. Stupidity burned that car, nothing else.

    Oh, and the verb is “breathe”. “Breath” is a noun.

    The Fisker is a functional kluge, IMO. Small interior, small range, big price.

    If you want to see the real Karma-Killer, check out the TeslaMotors Model S, huge interior, great range (up to 300 miles), 2/3 Karma’s price or less. Deliveries Q2 this year, first year production oversold by several thousand, climbing fast. To be followed by an even sexier crossover, the Model X, in 2013.

  104. Brian H says:

    P.S. The ‘S’ blows away the Karma on the road, too. Quickest model does 0-60 in 4.4.. Heh. The Karma looks fast, but struggles to beat 6 seconds. And the hybrid motor is reportedly LOUD. It’s a loser, as made obvious by its purchase and endorsement by the GoreBlob.

  105. Grey lensman says:

    Thing that I do not understand about Americans, 110 v is safer???????????

    Its amps that kill not volts. Thus the 1,000 amps at 300 volts would fry you nicely.

    I have had a few 20,000 volt jolts and walked away, virtually zero amps lukily.

  106. Brian H says:

    richard verney says:
    January 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Electric cars have no doubt come on a bit since then but they are not a practical proposition for most users and save no CO2 until such time as electricity is generated by non CO2 emitting renewables.

    I think saving CO2 is a fool’s errand, but EVs actually do; power plant operation is far more efficient than travelling putt-putt motors, and the electric motor gets 3X more motive power out of the in-vehicle btu store than an ICE engine. That’s where the big payoff is.

  107. John Innes says:

    It interests me that we have to make an electric car, claimed efficient, look like a high powered conventional car to attract buyers. An internal combustion car engine puts about one third of its energy input on the wheels through the drive train, one third out the exhaust pipe, and one third into its radiator. So if its engine is powerful, the car needs a big radiator, with a big air intake in the front. So to give the impression of a high performance car, the Fisker has the frontal appearance of a car with a big radiator needing a lot of cooling air. If it is going to have a practical range, an electric car must be able to get most of the battery output to the wheels, so it has no radiator and should not need much cooling air. It seems that the looks are dictated by the sales department, not the engineering department. Without the air intakes that imply more performance than it can deliver, you can not charge $100,000.

  108. Alvin says:

    Maybe an issue here. I discussed this with a “friend” and he says the following:

    What those sources did not report was a requirement for the $500M loan. THE MONEY HAD TO BE SPENT ON CARS MANUFACTURED IN AMERICA. Therefore, the subsidy of the Karma per car is $0

    Does anyone have more info on this.

  109. John T says:

    You didn’t mention the Chevy Volt fire issue belatedly revealed by the NHTSA in November.

    But don’t worry, they’ve got a loaner program for people who are now afraid to drive them. And they’re working on a buy-back program -you may be able to get your money back for the Volt and keep the $7500 tax break.

  110. Scott Covert says:

    My Harley Davidson gets 50mpg with two people on it, can smoke the rear tire 103 cubic inch engine, and is and will always be cooler than a hybrid. All for about $23K. Range 250 miles.

    Heck of a lot of fun too.

  111. Keith Sketchley says:

    As for not being able to find a US plant to assemble the Karma Kar, decision factors of course include price to do so and whether or not a facility wants anything to do with a venture that might be questionable with or without the eco aspect (remember Bricklin, DeLorean, and dozens of much smaller ventures?).

    Loan guarantees are not proper either, as they prop up an enterprise that could not obtain financing in the open market or facilitate getting commercial loans at lower interest rate. Either way the benefactor of the guarantee is getting a free ride on the taxpayers’ cost of the risk of default. Too much “shell game” in comments in this thread, I am disappointed in the erroneous economic and technical claims.

    As for dealers being unable to keep electric cars on the lot, that depends on supply. Since few electric cars have been sold (in terms of normal car sales), I suspect supply is small thus easily exhausted. The financial risk to investors is that the market will saturate quickly, as has happened with some nice retro-image cars.

  112. Keith Sketchley says:

    As for fires, well, is that just poor design?
    Batteries are fearsome sources of energy into a low-resistance load (like a shorted wire or conductive liquid, which water tends to be due contaminants). Good safety analysis, with good design including materials choice and proper manufacturing quality – covering high risk identified in the safety analysis – should prevent that.

    I don’t know the fire risk in most conventional automobiles from coolant leak, the battery is usually at top-of-the-radiator height, but broken top would spew onto the battery by bouncing off hood, with terminal arrangement such that liquid will tend to run away from terminals, albeit case material may be flammable – I don’t know, fire-resistant plastics are common these days.

    However a conventional car with battery in the trunk to re-distribute weight, as used in some high-performance cars, and race cars, would be at some risk of shorting the positive cable in a severe crash (fire would result if combustibles were near or the insulation could sustain a fire spread to an area with more combustible material).

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