Who's up for a Fisker update?
You all remember Fisker, right? The Al Gore-backed recipients of a $529 million loan guarantee from the federal government in order to build $100,000 electric sedans in Finland. Let us know when this stops looking like a business model in which to poor that amount of tax-payer money because it just keeps getting better.
It would appear that there really is nothing greener than a car that doesn't run.
Here's the test drive report from Consumer Reports:
Our Fisker Karma cost us $107,850. It is super sleek, high-tech—and now it’s broken.(italics, ours)
We have owned our car for just a few days; it has less than 200 miles on its odometer. While doing speedometer calibration runs on our test track (a procedure we do for every test car before putting it in service by driving the car at a constant 65 mph between two measured points), the dashboard flashed a message and sounded a “bing“ showing a major fault. Our technician got the car off the track and put it into Park to go through the owner’s manual to interpret the warning. At that point, the transmission went into Neutral and wouldn’t engage any gear through its electronic shifter except Park and Neutral.
We let the car sit for about an hour and restarted it. We could now engage Drive and the same error message disappeared. After moving it only a few feet the error message reappeared and when we tried to engage Reverse the transmission went straight to Park and again no motion gear could be engaged. After calling the dealer, which is about 100 miles away, they promptly sent a flatbed tow truck to haul away the disabled Fisker.
We buy about 80 cars a year and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process.
Because nothing says boondoggle like not even test driving your own vehicle before handing it over for a third-party assessment.
Think about it: billions upon billions of dollars in green technology subsidies and the prices are going in the wrong direction and, in this case, for products that don't even work unlike other areas of the tech sector (computers, TVs and smart phones) where no subsidies were received and real skin was in the game and the market determined the winners and losers.
* As an unintended safety feature, Karma drivers will enjoy the increased visibility.