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by Matt Brogan

The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will emit just 83 grams of CO2 per kilometre and have an economy rating of 3.5 litres per 100 kilometres (combined), according to SAE methodology measuring emissions for plug-in hybrids.

Making its German debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, the four-door Karma will be one of the cleanest, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, but will still offer world-class style and performance.

Calculations developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) estimate carbon dioxide output will be less than that of today’s cleanest production cars and 75 per cent less than that of competing vehicles, on average.

SAE is an internationally recognized organization of experts that help drive government automotive policy.

Fisker automobiles could save 941 million litres of petrol and offset 2.3 million tonnes of CO2 through 2016. Still, with 300kW and more torque than many supercars, 0-100km/h takes about six seconds and maximum speed is 201km/h.

“The Fisker Karma is the future of driving,” said Henrik Fisker, CEO. “It proves we can drive environmentally responsible cars without sacrificing the emotional things that made us fall in love with cars in the first place.”

Fueling the Karma could cost just 0.03 cents per kilometre, consuming as little as 21 kilowatt hours per 100km in its electric-only Stealth mode, according to SAE methodology.

However, a real-world annual average would be closer to 0.08 cents per kilometre based on a mix of Stealth and Sport (petrol) mode use. Actual economy and emission results will of course vary depending on individual driving habits and usage requirements.

In Stealth mode, engaged on demand via steering wheel-mounted paddle switches, the Karma can be driven into the growing number of traffic-restricting Low Emissions Zones (LEZ) across Europe. Some 70 cities and towns in eight European countries have opted for LEZs, including Berlin, Stuttgart, London and Amsterdam.

The Karma will be the first production Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) when it goes on sale in 2010. Its exclusive Q-DRIVE powertrain is expected to deliver an emission-free 80 kilometres per full charge of its 22kWh/200kW Lithium-ion battery, and a total extended range of more than 480 kilometres through the use of its petrol powered engine/generator.

Fisker Automotive is poised to benefit immensely as support from countries around the world for clean vehicles increases. For example, the US has announced its intention to put one million plug-in hybrid cars on its roads by 2015.

Germany recently unveiled an action plan to have one million electric cars on its roads by 2020. Japan wants electric vehicles to make up half of all vehicle sales within a decade.




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