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Fisker Begins Karma Production in Finland

The initial units are bound for the auto maker’s retail network in the U.S. and Europe as demonstrator models.

Start-up electric-vehicle maker Fisker Automotive confirms Job One today of its Karma sports sedan at Valmet Automotive in Finland, saying the plan is to ramp up slowly to avoid any hiccups on the $100,000 EV.

“The cars coming down the line, as from today, are full-production specification and build, but at the moment are very limited in quantity as we ensure full quality,” says Roger Ormisher, a spokesman for the Irvine, CA-based auto maker.

Ormisher provides no additional details but says in an email to Ward’s the initial units are bound for Fisker’s retail network in the U.S. and Europe as demonstrator models. The Karma will start arriving in the driveways of buyers who put down deposits in June and July, and all of those orders are expected to be filled by October.

An extended-range EV, the 4-passenger Karma features a 20-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and pair of 150-kW electric motors displacing a combined equivalent 403 hp. The battery pack will propel the car about 50 miles (80 km) before a 260-hp turbocharged 2.0L gasoline engine takes over for another 250 miles (402 km) of range.

A lightweight chassis and body panels using optimized aluminum material helps the Karma sprint to 60 mph (97 km/h) in as little as 5.9 seconds when using the electric and internal-combustion engine power modes in combination. Top speed is 125 mph (201 km/h).

The Karma joins the Chevy Volt EREV, Nissan Leaf EV, Tesla Roadster EV and Mitsubishi i-MiEV as the first roadworthy entries in the budding global segment.

Contract vehicle-maker Valmet will build the Karma, but a second, more-affordable plug-in EV currently code-named “Nina” will be produced at an assembly plant in Wilmington, DE, that Fisker recently bought from General Motors.

Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker expects to build up 100,000 EVs annually once the Delaware plants hits full production by 2014.

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