Gaia worshippers, before you crawl into bed with government enablers and crony capitalists, be aware that the offspring of such intercourse, although cute and Earth-friendly when little, may grow up to be rebellious, Corvette engine-powered, supercharged enemies of the biosphere:
“VL Automotive, a Detroit venture backed by former General Motors’ vice chairman Bob Lutz, is moving ahead with plans to convert Fisker Karmas from hybrid power to Corvette power. … The converted Karma, to be called the Destino, has a more conservative grille and a few other minor cosmetic tweaks. VL Engineers are removing the Chevrolet Volt-like gasoline-electric powertrain and replacing it with the engine and transmission used in the Chevrolet Corvette. Two versions will be available, a base 450-hp direct-injected V-8 and an optional 638-hp supercharged V-8.”
This, on the heels of this disheartening news for the American taxpayer:
“An investor group led by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li is the likely winner of a government loan owed by Fisker Automotive, the now-dormant maker of plug-in hybrid sports cars … The U.S. Department of Energy picked Li’s group after an auction held Friday to sell the green-energy loan. … Fisker does not have enough money to pay its outstanding bills and has not built a car in about 15 months. Fisker laid off most of its employees in April to save cash. The DOE said last month that it planned the auction after ‘exhausting any realistic possibility’ that it could recoup the entire amount still owed by Fisker. The exact value of Li’s bid was not immediately clear, but bidders had to offer at least $30 million to participate in the Fisker loan auction, sources have said. …
“In 2009, Fisker won a $529 million DOE loan under a U.S. program to promote green vehicles.”
I stumbled across the Fisker-DOE boondoggle one lunch hour in October, 2011 when the head honchos of Fisker and the Department of Energy did a press rollout of their new $108,900 hybrid gas-electric luxury performance sedan in front of a deluxe hotel across the street from my office building. My curiosity captured by a row of gorgeous 4-door Corvettes (what the Karmas looked like, and what they now will actually become), I wandered over to the event. I wasn’t at all happy to learn that my tax dollars were being “invested” in a start-up manufacturer of four-wheeled toys for the .0001% — particularly since such toys, advertised as planet-savers, burned high-octane gasoline at a rate of 20mpg after the first twenty miles following a charge-up. Here’s my take from back then, which I presciently called, “Fisker Karma: Solyndra on Wheels?” (turns out the question mark wasn’t necessary).
So now, two years later, the wheels have come off Fisker Automotive’s eco-friendly dream. Twenty-five of the cars Fisker managed to build before going under will have their batteries and hybrid powertrains ripped out in favor of two of the meanest, un-greenist V-8 powerplants ever unleashed onto the tarmac. Hundreds more of the mutant Karmas/Destinos will be built using spare body shells and interiors left over from the now-dismembered manufacturing firm. Meanwhile, the American taxpayer takes it on the chin, yet again, as the crony capitalists get their bail-outs.
One more tantalizing tidbit from that Automotive News article:
“VL is further planning to offer current Karma owners the option to convert their cars to Corvette power for about $100,000, provided the Karma is in pristine condition. Fisker sold about 1,800 Karmas before production stopped in November of last year when the company ran out of money.”
If memory serves, Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio both bought Fisker Karmas back in the company’s pre-bankruptcy salad days of 2011. Might these two eco-titans consider ditching their girly-man cars’ underwhelming hybrid powertrains for a heaping helping of hairy-chested, old-fashioned American V-8 muscle?
As Darth V-8der might say…
“Come over to the dark side. Join me, and together, we can rule the American Road as father and son! Luke, it is your Destino!”