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Fisker Solar Electric Hybrid Car Has Good but Expensive Karma

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 6/5/2011

The Fisker Karma hybrid has some exciting features. This luxury sports hybrid comes with a solar roof and can be recharged with a solar power station. The Karma's price is likely to be too high for many car buyers. However, if you long for a solar hybrid, there are more affordable options.

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    Fisker Karma Hybrid Car Features

    The Fisker Karma, a luxury hybrid sports car with elegant styling, could revolutionize the way the world thinks about green cars. The car will feature the Q-Drive powertrain drive system developed by Quantum. This hybrid car has two powerful electric motors and a direct-inject 2-liter 4 cylinder gasoline Ecotec engine. When the lithium ion battery is fully charged the Karma car can go for 50 miles on battery power alone, giving off zero emissions. The Fisker Karma also has a strong, lightweight aluminum space-frame. The Karma can be recharged using any 110-volt electrical outlet or fast-charged using the solar powered recharging station designed by Quantum.

    The Fisker Karma has two drive modes. Stealth Drive is a quieter, more economical and more efficient method of driving. Putting the Karma into Sports Drive will take advantage of its full power. The Karma can reach speeds of over 125 miles per hour and go from 1 to 60 miles per hour in under 6 seconds. It also has highly efficient LED tail lights and a solar panel roof to keep the car's battery charged and to cool the interior while it's parked. The Karma's glass solar roof panel is the largest in the world. It also has four doors, plenty of room to seat four people, and a spacious trunk. It's estimated that the fuel economy could reach 100 mpg. Full production of the Fisker Karma will begin in February 2011.

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    Price Comparison to Other Eco-Friendly Hybrid Cars

    However, with a base price of $87,900, the Karma is not for everybody. With a base MSRP of $22,000, the Toyota Prius makes a lot more sense for people on a budget. The Chevrolet Volt, General Motors' first plug-in gas-electric hybrid car, can run on electric power only for up to 40 miles. It also features a lithium ion battery and a 1 liter three-cylinder gas engine. The Volt's price tag of between $30,000 and $40,000 will make it a more affordable choice for many car buyers. There are some car manufacturers such as Toyota that will install an optional solar roof on a hybrid car upon request.

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    Is the Fisker Karma Car Right for You?

    If you're in the market for a Ferrari, the Karma is probably the right car for you. Wealthy professionals that would like to go green will undoubtably adore this car with its beautiful eco-chic curves and luxurious features. However, ordinary people simply can't buy a car that costs as much as a house. Hopefully, though, auto makers will imitate the Karma's unique features and produce more affordable cars complete with a solar roof for good mileage. The Karma's solar power charging station is particularly inspiring. If all cars were solar powered in the future, it could make our atmosphere significantly cleaner and slow the progress of global warming.

    For more information about going green and saving energy, read Passive Solar Energy for Heating and Cooling a House.

    Sources:

    "Using Solar Roofs To Power Hybrids." http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/solar_hybrid_ca.php

    "Quantum's Affiliate, Fisker Automotive, to Showcase First Production Vehicle, the Fisker KARMA, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)" http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Quantums-Affiliate-Fisker-Automotive-Showcase/story.aspx?guid=%7BAF9A0896-43F4-4036-9496-AB4A26BF81A3%7D

    "Fisker Raises $65 Million for Karma Plug-In Hybrid Sports Car." http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/09/fisker-karma-plug-in-electric-hybrid-65-millions-financing.php