For The Karma looks incredible, seems well engineered and offers efficiency figures that no rival can get close to.
Against It’s cramped in the back and the petrol engine is too noisy. Plus, Fisker doesn’t offer a right-hand drive option.
The Fisker Karma proves that green cars can be exciting and stylish, but its refinement lets the side down – for the moment.
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Fisker Automotive – led by former Aston Martin design chief, Henrik Fisker – describes the Fisker Karma as an electric vehicle with extended range because it’s always driven by a pair of electric motors, but has a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine that acts as a generator when the batteries run low.
You charge the Karma from a conventional socket – it takes about five-and-a-half hours – and can then travel for up to 50 miles on battery power alone, followed by a further 250 miles with the help of the generator (assuming you’ve brimmed the petrol tank).
The Karma sidesteps the range-anxiety problem that has traditionally plagued electric cars, and while it doesn’t offer zero emissions, you should be able to achieve 83g/km of CO2 and over 100mpg.
At the moment, the petrol engine is too noisy, but Fisker says it is working on a fix that will also be fitted to cars sold with the existing system.