With solar panels on the roof and an electronic hum as the flashy car accelerates, the Fisker Karma is the newest electric vehicle turning heads on metro Tulsa streets and highways.
Already, Don Thornton Cadillac has sold nine of the high-end, electric and gasoline generator vehicles to area car enthusiasts, and the dealership is planning a new showroom by the end of the year for products from Fisker Automotive Inc., an independent U.S. manufacturer.
“People that buy these cars aren’t really the same people that are buying other electric cars and hybrids,” said Delon Tucker, brand manager for the Fisker Tulsa dealership. “This is something that is both eco-friendly and a car that makes people look.”
Electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, which also has a backup gas generator, have been trickling into Tulsa car lots and also are available for pre-order. Now comes Anahein, Calif.-based Fisker, aggressively pushing its line of eco-friendly vehicles nationwide.
Don Thornton Cadillac has five Fisker vehicles on its lot.
“We want something real and tangible to show people instead of looking through a book and putting down a deposit,” Tucker said. “If you want, you can come buy one today.”
The Karma, with a price of about $100,000, is the flagship vehicle for a new line of electric vehicles being launched by Fisker. Although it has four doors, the car is closer in look to exotic sports cars such as a Maserati than to its electric and hybrid cousins.
The Karma has a 2,000-pound lithium ion battery that will get it 40 to 50 miles on a charge while driven in all-electric “stealth mode.” For longer ranges or more aggressive driving, owners can flip the vehicle into “sport mode,” which incorporates a gasoline-powered generator that can get it another 250 miles on a 9-gallon tank.
Don Thornton started receiving the Fisker Karmas in November, but they sold quickly. Just recently, the company began showing the cars at events such as Mayfest to build hype around the emerging brand.
Even with a growing number of electrics and hybrids, the Karma stands out.
The vehicle has photo-voltaic solar panels on the roof that help power the ancillary features of the car such as the stereo and air conditioning, while providing some minor recharging ability.
The company markets the Karma as a luxury sedan, although a low-profile, long hood and 22-inch rims give the vehicle a sports car look and feel with two front and two rear seats.
The car comes with a 10-hour home-charging plug-in setup, although Tucker said most customers pay the $2,500 for a home-installed quick-charging kit that gives a full charge in about five hours.
Like other electric vehicles, a computer control center registers what kind of charge is left and displays vehicle performance.
The vehicle starts at about $98,000, and with luxury packages it can go for more than $115,000.
The dealership does have a few cars on the lot, but custom orders can take about four to six months.
“But we can usually find a car that someone is happy with at another dealership,” Tucker said. “Really, this car looks great in about any color.”
Fisker is also expecting to release two new models, the Atlantic and Surf, which are aimed more toward families and could lower the entry price tag into the $60,000 range.
Don Thornton Auto Group is planning to build a Fisker showroom next to the Cadillac dealership, where the company’s pre-owned office is located. The new showroom will be in a shared building with the pre-owned division and is expected to be finished by the end of the year. It will have space to display two vehicles.
at Don Thornton Cadillac (Tulsa, Okla.)
Base price: $98,000
Electric range: 50 miles
Gas generator range: 250 miles on 9 gallons
Charging time: 10 hours standard
Options for recycled paint and interior material
Original Source: Tulsa World