Fisker steps down

:unamused:

SHOCKING

Not really…

Unless you’ve got Elon Musk (Tesla) money or Christian von Koenigsegg money [to control what happens around you] it’s inevitable that today’s namesake automotive entrepreneur will get the boot. They get in over their heads. Even with all the investment and resources Fiskar’s group has behind them, they’re still having issues that will be difficult to overcome.

Preston Tucker,
Jerry Wiegert,
Briggs Cunningham,
Malcolm Bricklin,
John DeLorean

And Musk says he’s burned through ALL his money getting Tesla just to where it is now.

And I was really beginning to love that motor… There’s a white one that floats around Toronto which is always catching mine and the eyes of every other soul on the footpath at the time…

Would be a shame to see another reputable auto marque start to slither down the drains

:open_mouth:

Tesla should book Musk while they are ahead. His private life and high profile divorces are at least a distraction and a drain on the bank accounts.

There are one or two Fisker Karmas around metro Seattle. Nice cars, with unusual color schemes - I saw a coppery gold one, it was beautiful. Every day on the highway I see at least two Model S though.

Would be a shame to see another reputable auto marque start to slither down the drains

Reputable marque?! With fewer than 2,323 manufactured (claimed) and an unknown number actually sold, inconsistent performance, and spotty customer service, how is this a “reputable” marque? It could yet become one, if it survives, but throwing reputable on the table is a bit premature I’d say.

Rant: ON

But you know, given the reality of “electric cars” why do they even exist right now? The exist because a bunch of misguided folks have artificially propped up an industry whose time has not yet come.

BMW recently announced the release of a gasoline-powered LOANER vehicle program, [u]for the owners of it’s new i3 electric vehicle,[/u] to alleviate mileage-range fears of prospective buyers. The cost of the loaner program will be included in the price of i3.

Huh… . ?

Given the resources and environmental cost of producing an electric vehicle and especially it’s battery. THAT’s NUTS! Well I think it is anyway. Given the over all picture of manufacturing an electric vehicle, the whole “zero emission” claim is a ridiculous.

For proponents such as the actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, the main argument is that their electric cars—whether it’s a $100,000 Fisker Karma (Mr. DiCaprio’s ride) or a $28,000 Nissan Leaf—don’t contribute to global warming. And, sure, electric cars don’t emit carbon-dioxide on the road. But the energy used for their manufacture and continual battery charges certainly does—far more than most people realize.

… almost half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to produce the car, especially the battery. By contrast, the manufacture of a gas-powered car accounts for 17% of its lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions.

When an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already been responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: 14,000 pounds.

… batteries in electric cars fade with time, just as they do in a cellphone. Nissan estimates that after five years, the less effective batteries in a typical Leaf bring the range down to 55 miles.

If a typical electric car is driven 50,000 miles over its lifetime, the huge initial emissions from its manufacture means the car will actually have put more carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere than a similar-size gasoline-powered car driven the same number of miles.

… if the energy used to recharge the electric car comes mostly from coal-fired power plants, it will be responsible for the emission of almost 15 ounces of carbon-dioxide for every one of the 50,000 miles it is driven—three ounces more than a similar gas-powered car.

Even if the electric car is driven for 90,000 miles and the owner stays away from coal-powered electricity … the electric car will be responsible for 8.7 tons of carbon dioxide less than the average conventional car.

On the European emissions market, credit for 8.7 tons of carbon-dioxide costs $48.

Source: Monday, 11 March, 2012, Wall Street Journal > > Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret

A U.S. buyer of any electric vehicle gets a $7,500 tax credit for having saved the environment less than $50, and $5.5 billion dollars in federal monies have been awarded for electric vehicle manufacturers and battery makers.

Yet this BMW needs a 650cc 2-cylinder kicker motor (out of the BMW c650 scooter) to alleviate the fears of prospective owners that they won’t be able to get they where they want to go?!?. Why would you buy it in the first place?!

Electric vehicles will have their time, it just isn’t now. Well, we have to start somewhere, you say. Sounds like a good idea, it just shouldn’t be foisted on the American public at our expense. And if you’re buying one to feel good about mother earth you need to rethink your motives.

Rant: OFF

Well put Mr Clarkson :wink:

And John Delorean would have been fine without that pesky coke habit…

Hybrids, electrics, hydrogen… they exist so those with the money can buy themselves some good concious… but honestly they’re just a complicated way of (still) having a car powered by fossil fuels. There’s no way we can make and run all cars on green power. Some may think I’m too much of an idealist, dreaming of the perfect world here, but the main problem of the car isn’t what powers it, it is the car itself. We’re trying to engineer our way around the problem, but we can’t get away from the fact that the idea that we all own and drive our own car simply isn’t sustainable. We need to look at the system, not the cars we use to get by within the existing system. Honestly I don’t really think electric cars ever will replace the car as we know it, we need to rethink things a more fundamental level for the future.

A bit off topic I guess, so to complete the post: I’m probably one of few who have never liked the Fisker. The way the car seems to be “hanging down” between the wheels have never looked right to me. Admittedly this looks worst when seen slightly from above. And the front is too “Joker” for my liking.

Headline from last week:

EPA finds 2012 fuel economy was highest ever, 23.8 mpg

more details:

The numbers reflect the fact that the number of US hybrid and diesel models has doubled in the last five years, thanks to automakers expanding their line-ups. Last year, alt-fuel vehicle sales jumped 63 percent to more than 540,000 vehicles, while plug-in vehicle sales roughly tripled to about 50,000 vehicles

I think 50,000 in a market of 14.5 million probably did not make that much of a difference. Having said that, it is a niche. If I had a garage, I think I would buy one. I only drive 30 miles/day on my commute. Unfortunately, garages are only for the 1% in French-Canada:~(

Lew,

This months Roundel (the BMWCCA mag) has a better explanation of the thinking behind the standby-emergency network that BMW will have in place as i3 owners take delivery.

If you’re driving your i3 and find yourself nearing the end of charge, BMW has three steps of help.

  1. Using your onboard map & communications, BMW will find the nearest charging equipment and will reserve it for you if requested.
  2. If the nearest charging equipment is not close enough, BMW will dispatch the electric car equivalent of a AAA truck that will arrive and provide an 80% charge in 30minutes or less.
  3. And if neither of the solutions above are feasible or available, the nearest BMW dealer will dispatch a loaner 1 or 3 series car to you for your use until your i3 can be fully recharged for you.

It’s a fitting system of customer service for their desire to be THE premium vehicle brand AND to embrace the next wave of technology in an effort to stay a step ahead.

Foisted? Like oil subsidies of $5-$10 billion annually (depending on your source)?

I don’t know about you, I’d rather have my money spent on new product development instead of propping up a dinosaur industry.

Pun intended. :wink:

Thanks for that Scott. Given that Jaguar owners have been doing it for decades, I still don’t know what the attraction is for a vehicle that one would have doubts about taking on a long trip.

… I’d rather have my money spent on new product development …

I rather “my money” (aka: “our money”) not be spent by THE GOVERNMENT to prop up any industry…

That said, we couldn’t eat a quarter-pounder with fries if it didn’t.

Another reason I like the Volt - and I’m starting to see more of them around.

In 2007, my wife insisted on a Prius. It has averaged 42mpg over 80K miles. With only oil changes, one set of front brake pads, 2 sets of tires and a few headlights, it’s been a car I don’t have to think much about. We took the kids on a 1000 mile trip in it without thinking twice. That the Volt will travel 1000 miles even more efficiently is pretty impressive.

(and I’m all for ending the oil industry subsidies…you want to see consumer attitudes shift quickly, show them 5.99 at the pump!)

(and I’m all for ending the oil industry subsidies…you want to see consumer attitudes shift quickly, show them 5.99 at the pump!)

That might tend to put things in perspective, huh? But of course the cost of charging your Prius will go up too.

What really took me by surprise was the was the claim that…

When an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already been responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: 14,000 pounds.

15 tons of carbon emission… . :open_mouth: a heavy debt to repay for a low emissions vehicle.

I found myself watching “The Men That Made America” over the weekend. What a hellish time to be a factory worker… but I still couldn’t stop thinking about how my great grandfather lived and worked; living in a rural Illinois area in around 1895 … walked to work at his livery stable every day. No electricity until the '20’s, etc. No car payment, no car insurance, no gas bill, etc.

We can’t go back, but we definitely need to re-design the way we live.

Come on. Let’s show a little intellectual honesty. You know very well the vast majority of that 15 tons is do to economies of scale. When you run on a few thousand of anything you are always much more inefficient if you are running a few hundred thousand. Comparing apples to oranges is silly.

And while I don’t care much for DA GUBMINT propping up any particular company, I do want them to spend my money on basic research. Your life in new product development has certainly benefited from it, as pretty much everyone else.

there have been some interesting materials developments around carbon as a super capacitor or feul cell.
would solve the battery problem…but in time to save Fisker?

Obviously the government isn’t currently capable of making sound decisions when it comes to allocating resources for research and development. I’m not sure if it ever was. History gets re-written and re-interpreted so much that you have to be careful what you believe anymore. They’ll bring up the Manhattan Project, the interstate highway system, or the Apollo program to justify government control of technological development. How centralized they were under bureaucratic control is another story. I doubt we would have made it to the moon or gotten a road much further past the Alleghenys under today’s dysfunctional system.

I am a little more sympathetic to what Musk has been trying to accomplish, especially since the NYT tried to unjustly torpedo the Model S in there bogus review.

However, proportional differences don’t explain away all the increased environmental impacts of EV production

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x/pdf

The study has a sliding scale to take into account technology advancements.
Battery production & electric motor require more energy intensive production methods. In addition, they require specific materials & metals that could have some nasty effects on the environment. Maybe we make some leaps that clean the mess up, but that isn’t a sure bet at this point.

Because production impacts are more significant for EVs than conventional vehicles, assuming a vehicle lifetime of 200,000 km exaggerates the GWP benefits of EVs to 27% to 29% relative to gasoline vehicles or 17% to 20% relative to diesel. An assumption of 100,000 km decreases the benefit of EVs to 9% to 14% with respect to gasoline vehicles and results in impacts indistinguishable from those of a diesel vehicle.

Improving the environmental profile of EVs requires engagement around reducing vehicle production supply chain impacts and promoting clean electricity sources in decision making regarding electricity infrastructure.

source: > http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x/pdf

Interesting read, horrible selection of type font for a paper.

iab, if we want to address “intellectual honesty” we should probably consider the advertising onslaught (provided in part by federal dollars) supporting the green-ness of electric vehicles. I seriously doubt that the likes of Leonardo DiCapprio Ashton, Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green, et. al, actually give even a moments thought about the 60-ton ore trucks consuming diesel fuel at the rate of 12 gallons per mile, the air-freighters that bring (or brought) the Karma’s chassis from Uusikaupunki, Finland, or the heavy metals and electrolytes processed in the manufacture of the electronic controls and batteries of the Karma, or any other electric vehicle; they simply buy into the popularity and especially the notoriety of owning something that represents the latest fad*. The public follows and buys what they can afford, and they/we believe pretty much what the television ads profess. Like the little boy, when asked where milk comes from, said, “the refrigerator”, most folks haven’t got a clue about their real “carbon footprint”.

The automobile industry owes the consuming public a clear explanation what goes into making their green cars. And that even begin to address the carbon load produced by the generation of electricity. Depending on region of the U.S. that you live in, your Karma, BMW i3, Nissan Leaf isn’t as green as you think it is. There are no zero-emission vehicles; electricity has to be generated from some thing, some how, it has to be transmitted over wires, and converted into DC power for vehicle use all of require more energy to maintain.

Electric power generation production fuel sources.
Coal: 45%
Natural gas: 24%
Nuclear: 20%
Wind, solar and geothermal sources: 3%

Can electric vehicle reduce emissions in congested areas? Absolutely. But it’s just passing the buck to believe that you are helping the environment by purchasing a “green” electric vehicle. At least for now.

  • For the notorati the Fisker is nothing more than a status symbol.

Justin on his new, not electric motorcycle.

And in other Fisker related news today …


Chinese automakers have pulled back from talks to buy > Fisker Automotive> , Inc. over a disagreement to whether to revive a loan agreement with the U.S., leaving the Anaheim, Calif., company’s future uncertain ahead of an April loan payment.

Fisker management had proposed to the Chinese that as part of any sale it tap the remaining portion of a $529 million U.S. loan, a move that would commit the new owner to building Fisker cars at a form GM auto factory in Delaware.

The Delaware plant is big, old, and expensive, and the Chinese balked at the U.S. loan because they didn’t want to be compelled to to build cars there, another person said.

source: Wall Street Journal > Fisker Sales Talks Fall Apart, Tuesday, March 19, 2012

Lew, I fully understand greenwashing. My cynicism is on full display in the quite worthless Designer’s Accord and Green forum.

But that was never my point. My point is that is takes time to develop any product as you are fully aware. “Green” cars not so green? Well, duh. I remember 15 years ago spending $15k on a single 50" plasma monitors for my client’s trade booth. You can bash early adopters if you like, but without the Leonardo DiCapprio Ashton, Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green, et. al, types you can’t have your $600 1080p LED screen.

It’s the same with any new technology, including “green” cars. Drill baby drill is for idiots clinging to the past. Germany gains 25% of their electrical from solar and wind. The entire country is north of Chicago. Unless you believe the idiots at Fox News who think Germany has an unfair advantage of being “sunny”, there is no reason to think that any country can’t reach that or better.

It all starts with a first step.

btw, your great grandfather in 1895, did he think the horseless carriage was just an overpriced fad?