Fisker Automotive Might Not Need DOE Money

By · February 20, 2012

Fisker Karma

Fisker co-founder Henrik Fisker says the startup automaker may never need a single penny more of the DOE's money.

In early February, news broke of Fisker's decision to lay off 66 US workers in an attempt to conserve cash as it sought a way to renegotiate the terms of its Department of Energy (DOE) loans. This move led to numerous news outlets claiming that Fisker would soon fail.

But in a recent interview, Henrik Fisker, co-founder and chief executive officer of Fisker Automotive, claimed the future of the startup automaker is bright and that Fisker is not even close to circling the drain. According to Fisker, the automaker may never need a single penny more of the DOE's money. Fisker says that discussions regarding alternative financing are ongoing and sees the current cash flow issue as nothing more than a slight snag or hiccup.

"We are in discussions for alternative financing," said Fisker. "We don't want our future 100 percent reliant on DOE funding. It's been great to have. We just want to be sure we have capital without DOE."

The startup automaker has reportedly completed development of its mid-sized Project Nina plug-in and even has a running prototype. Next up for Fisker is to order tooling for its production facility in Delaware. "Nina is completely signed off, and it's 95 percent sourced," said Fisker. "It's ready to build."


· · 6 years ago

If Nina is ready to build and there is a prototype out there then why can't we see it? Wouldn't showing the Nina around help them raise funds?

· · 6 years ago

I continue to wish the best for Fisker but unfortunately, I remain skeptical.
I really think they need to milk the Karma and soak the rich for a while longer before getting distracted with a mass produced car. With Teslas, Infinitys, and Cadillacs coming out, the luxury EV market, while still the most viable for startups IMHO, is going to become competitive and tougher to survive in.

· · 6 years ago

@ ex-EV1 driver: You don't find 20 mpg to be competitive?

· · 6 years ago

I really don't see the gasoline mpg for the Karma as being much of an issue for this class of vehicle. The alternative is probably a big Bentley, Jaguar, BMW, or Mercedes which probably only gets 10 mpg and doesn't even offer the option of a clean fuel source. This will be a big win for the planet, even if it isn't perfect.
I, personally don't care what the mpg is as long as it has a plug so it doesn't require wars for the majority of its fuel.
Sure, this isn't going to save the planet by itself but we need to get plug-ins on the road and I don't see a viable way for a startup to get established unless they go to the high end initially.
A company needs business sustainability before energy sustainability matters at all.

· · 6 years ago

I agree with you in a general sort of a way. In otherwords, the fact that the Karma will drive on most days without a drop of oil is its most important feature. If people who buy the car self select to be people that drive less than the battery range nearly all the time then all is well.

But I think it says something about Fisker and their chances in the future that they decided to make a car whose main demographic is people who want to stop using oil and allowed that car to only get 20 mpg after the batteries are done. I think if they paid more attention to the fuel economy of their drive train and the weight and aerodynamics they could have done better while still having the luxury and performance this class of car requires.

That is why I would like to see the Nina. Did they make good decisions with that more affordable and more important car?

· Anonymous (not verified) · 6 years ago

I hope they won't show the Nina. They have a beautiful car in the Karma and that should keep them going long enough to build out the Delaware facility. Unveiling the Nina now would only cut into Karma sales. Something that they probably don't want to risk.

· · 6 years ago

"Nina is completely signed off, and it's 95 percent sourced," said Fisker. "It's ready to build."

That is a very interesting piece of information, if true. They should definitely show it off.

· · 6 years ago

I'm all in favor of the Nina but I'm more concerned about Fisker jumping the gun on it. Based on the sluggishness, slow delivery, and high price of the Karma, they clearly aren't even able to do a very good job designing and manufacturing any car, not even a high-end one yet. They need to learn on something that is a bit more forgiving before they take on the challenge of a high-volume, low-margin vehicle.

· TD (not verified) · 6 years ago

They certainly won't need another penny if they are out of business.

· Chris T. (not verified) · 6 years ago

People driving the Karma in "sport mode" are actually observing about 24 mpg. Not that this is a whole lot better than 20 mpg, but, well, it's 20% better than 20 mpg. :-)

Several people with Panameras have either switched or considered switching to the Karma. Price-wise it's about a wash, but daily driving with the Karma uses mostly electric, instead of mostly gasoline with the Panamera.

The weight of the Karma is its biggest problem, and much of the weight is due to the aluminum space-frame (vs mass-market monocoque construction). The space-frame is very stiff (which makes for great driving characteristics) but very heavy. The huge footprint—it has the same length and width as a big Ford SUV—does not help the weight either.

Despite all this, and despite all the software glitches (which are still ongoing—you still can't plug an iPod in!), the Karma is a lot of fun to drive. Read what people who own one say about driving it. They're all pretty POed about the glitches, and yet most of them still love their Karmas.

· kwsmith007-Fisker Owner (not verified) · 6 years ago

The number 20 MPG relative to the Fisker Karma has been tossed about with silly reckless abandon by people who have little understanding of these cars and the people who by them. I have a charging station at my home and at my office. I drive about 30 miles to work in the morning (I drop off my daughter at school) and then 20 miles in the afternoon. I almost never drive more than 50 miles on either of these legs. South Florida gets most of it's power from Turkey Point Nuclear plant...So is it safe to say my Fisker gets infinite gas mileage?

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