Monday, January 2, 2012

Meet the 2012 Fisker Karma!

The All New 2012 Fisker Karma!
Please, I need a moment.  A moment alone. 

A moment of 'ME' time so that I might continue to gaze lustily at the Fisker Karma above.  Seriously, as I gaze upon this limited-production electric sex-mobile, I wonder -- can it get any better than this? 

Look at the great lines, the low profile, the sneering mustachioed front end (must be Italian?), and, dare I say it?  The awesome rubber.  The hybrid Fisker Karma screams, "Take me!  Take me now!!!" to the unsuspecting automotive ogler passing by.

She's pretty, she's expensive, and she's waiting; waiting, for someone JUST like you!  Hold on, am I describing a car, or a prostitute, or, something worse, both??? 

In reality both, and there's only one (or two, or three, or four, ah, seven) itsy-bitsy problems with this can-be-had-for-cash-bad-Karma-mobile:

  1. MSRP on this Hybrid is $ 103,000
  2. It weighs over 5,800 pounds (same as a Ford Expedition)
  3. In gas-only mode it gets 20 MPG
  4. In all-electric mode it gets 56 MPG-e (for 32 miles worth of charge)
  5. Fisker received $529 Million in Taxpayer Dollars (because of its 'greeness')
  6. All Fisker Karmas are being built, right here, in...  Finland (last I checked, this was not a US Territory, so, um, why did they get $529 MILLION of our money?)
  7. And, lastly (and this is a BIG ONE), as of December 30, 2011, Fisker is recalling all of the 239 Karmas, because of the risk of Fire ("Holy Chevrolet Volt, Batman!!!  They've done it again!") 
As found on New York Times Online:    Fisker Automotive is recalling all 239 of its 2012 Karma luxury plug-in hybrid cars because of a fire hazard, according to a report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Prices on the 2012 model start at $103,000, including the destination charge.

In a report filed recently on the agency’s Web site, Fisker said 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 in the worse case,” the company told the safety agency.

Fisker said the problem was discovered on Dec. 16, when workers at the Valmet Automotive assembly plant in Finland noticed coolant dripping. 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.

Then, from DailyTech Online:  The official EPA numbers came out recently for the Fisker Karma and they were much, much lower than many expected. The EPA rated the Karma at a scant 20 mpg on gasoline. Considering the car was supposed to be a green hybrid, it's rating is disappointing, especially when you think that other hybrids of the size can achieve much better numbers. The all-electric (battery) range is rated at 32 miles for a combined 56 mpg-e.

If you were wondering why a car with a hybrid power plant was rated so low on gasoline power, it’s due to the massive weight of the Karma. The Karma has a curb weight of 5,300 pounds. Most of the weight is due to the heavy and expensive lithium-ion battery pack that motivates the Karma in electric mode.

With the low economy rating of the Karma and the fact that Fisker was one of the green firms that was loaned $529 million in federal funds, some are afraid it will be the next Solyndra. Solyndra is the solar firm that went under after receiving Federal funds for operation. While the EPA thinks its numbers for the Karma are accurate, Henrik Fisker thinks that drivers will see a better driving range.

So once again, the Federal Government places its bets on yet another manufacturer of a technology which it wants to see as a 'Winner' in the marketplace.  Free Markets are sooooo over-rated.   

The only problem is, of course:  The Feds spend OUR money on THEIR 'hunches' (or other progressive 'feel good' projects). 

Why is this so?  Why do the FEW (1%) continue to take from the MANY (99%)?  (Sorry, had to go there...)  Let's go straight to the man in charge of determining Economic Outcomes in the United States of America, Mr. George Soros... 

Oops, this of course, would be President Barack Obama.  When asked about the whole 'Solyndra' thing, President Obama responded (October 3rd, 2011):  "the loan guarantee program is important to developing clean-energy technologies and demonstrating that that U.S. can be an exporter of manufactured goods, rather than only an importer." 

[Moos Note:  But by selecting to invest in Finland's Fisker, isn't the President banking on the U.S. to be an 'importer' of these manufactured goods, rather than an 'exporter'?] 

"If you look at the overall portfolio of loan guarantees that have been provided, overall it's doing well," Obama said. "What we always understood is that not every single business is going to succeed in clean energy. But if we want to compete with China which is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into this space, if we want to compete with other countries that are heavily subsidizing the industries of the future, we have to make sure that our guys here in the United states of America at least have a shot. 

[Moos Note:  Well, as long as China is 'pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into this space'...  Cool!  We should too, right?  Hey, wait a minute, don't WE borrow a LOT of money from the Chinese?  So, we borrow money from China to keep up with the, um, investments, of China?  That's like spending more money to keep from going bankrupt - yes, we've done this too...] 

Now there are going to be some failures, and Solyndra is an example." - President Barack Obama, October 3, 2011.

Great, this clears it all up for me!  The President acknowledges that there will be failures, and as long as he's not personally paying for them...  We, as a Nation, are pretty much Good-to-Go!

It seems extremely odd that so many of the ventures this Administration has invested in have 'gone up in flames' (either financially, or, quite 'literally').  Re-visit the Chevy Volt discussion linked above for more detail here. 

I do, however, take comfort knowing that this President wants an additional four years to select the winners and losers in the technology sectors which HE feels 'good' about, as this permits an advantage to US.  

Here's the premise:  If he could tell us in advance of a company receiving their Federal welfare check, we will have the opportunity to invest in the firm, then sell out nine months later, prior to their going belly up?  Shoot, the folks in Congress have been doing this legally for years - how about giving us kids a chance to beef up our 401Ks for the next four years or so?

I hear lots of talk about 'Fairness' coming out of DC, but I wonder, when will we (99%) benefit from the Beneficence of the People's House?

Since when is 'Fairness' a single-sided equation?

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