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Fisker Karma does 62mpg. Or 24mpg. Officially.

Wed, 19 Oct 2011

Fisker Karma - from 24mpg

Yes, you read that right. The Fisker Karma now has official economy figures from the EPA in America so it can go on sale in the States. But didn’t Leonardo Do Caprio get the first Karma sold in the US back in July? Sort of.

It turns out that the cars Henrik Fisker has ‘sold’ to his high-profile early adopters aren’t actually production cars. They’re ‘Test’ cars and the new owners haven’t actually bought them, they’re just ‘testing’ them.

But now the EPA has come up with some official mileage figures for the Karma, Fisker can start to toll out production cars in the States. The trouble is, the figures don’t seem to live up to the hype.

Henrik Fisker has said that the Karma will easily beat 80mpg (that’s Imperial mpg) and that Fisker will be selling 7,000 Karmas in 2011 and 15,000 in 2012. Which doesn’t seem remotely realistic. And it’s not.

The numbers are easy – there’s no way Fisker are going to shift 7,000 cars in what’s left of 2011, even if they did start to build back in July and have been waiting for EPA certification. But the official mpg figures aren’t going to help too much either.

Instead of the 80mpg Henrik boasted of for the Karma, the EPA rates that as just 62mpg. Which would be fine if this was a conventional car, but it’s a range-extender hybrid. And official economy figures use a daft combination of theoretical split between EV and ICE running to conjure up a figure for a hybrid.

Considering the barking mad figures we usually see for hybrids, the figure of 62mpg for the Karma is poor. What’s even poorer are the figures for when it uses its 2.0 litre GM lump to charge the batteries. Then it only gets 24mpg (Imperial). Which is a bit less than a Mercedes S63 AMG. But it will do 24 miles on EV power when fully charged.

Despite all that, we like the Karma. It has style and it has the best of the hybrid powertrains – the range-extender. But it will be interesting to see if Fisker gets better figures on the European economy figures. And if it doesn’t, will it still qualify for the £5k subsidy and 100 per cent writing down allowance?

Because if it doesn’t, that’s really going to hurt.

By Cars UK