Is it a Fisker? help me with wise comebacks

Is it a Fisker? help me with wise comebacks

This morning I was walking with a friend over to look at my car in the parking lot, and a guy walked by asking "Is it a Fisker?" I said "No, it's a Tesla, a real 100% electric car" or maybe I just said "it's a real car", anyway, I had not been up on what Fisker is other than seeing on Recargo's news that a bunch of them were burned up somewhere in NJ after Sandy flooded the parking lot. So, I went and looked up Fisker Karma, and found that:

it's not pure electric, it's a hybrid, its combined range is only 300 miles (50 miles on the electric, with a 20.1 kWh battery)
its 0-60 is 6.3s (slower even than the non-performance S)
it weighs 5300 lbs (whoa, and I thought the S was heavy at 4647 lbs)
its luggage compartment is 6.9 cubic feet (the S's frunk is 5.3, and the trunk is 26.3 with the seats UP!)

not counting that the S looks gorgeous, weighs less, has a smaller turning radius,
goes faster, farther, carries more people and cargo, built in California...

what wise comebacks should I be prepared for next time?
No doubt I think Tesla is a much better car, and I am only looking for facts and numbers if you have some to share.

mrspaghetti | 6 November, 2012

"No, this one doesn't have a self-destruct feature"

Vall | 6 November, 2012

Here is an owner's review, pretty much sums it up. Especially that the car will do 0-60 in more than 8s in pure electric mode, the noisy gas engine, and the fact it has no pull above 50mph.

Hope that gives you some ideas when somebody asks you the next time.

Steve_P445 | 6 November, 2012

Simple response: No, this is a Tesla! Fisker's use gasoline... However, wanna race?

portia | 6 November, 2012

@vall, thanks for the link to the youtube owner's review of the Fisker, it is hilarious!

weeandthewads | 6 November, 2012

Why do you think it is a Fisker? Is it on fire?

mrspaghetti | 6 November, 2012

"A what? Oh, you mean the 'hybrid Pinto'!"

one2mark | 6 November, 2012

Ouch the review about the karma was painful. That guy needs to buy a Model S!

Vall | 6 November, 2012

I respect the guy's conscious choice, event though i don't agree with it, it's his money and he is well aware of the shortcomings and the existence of model S. Looking at the comments, there are plenty of people who tell him that he should ditch the fisker (wonder what's the resale value on those?) and get a model S. He has said that when tesla have a store near him (austin or houston or something else in TX) he may go and see it.

GoTeslaChicago | 6 November, 2012

Don't crack up! Try to be as polite as possible. Perhaps just say No, why do you ask? Depending on the response, this will probably give you a non threatening opening to begin your Tesla evangelism.

Liz G | 6 November, 2012

No, it's the future!

sagebrushnw | 6 November, 2012

@ tesla.mrspaghet

"A what? Oh, you mean the 'hybrid Pinto'!"

Never heard of a Pinto (Ford) coming from the factory with a 2.0L GM sourced gas engine.

STEVEZ | 6 November, 2012

"Why, is it on fire?" is pretty funny, rtesta, but probably counterproductive...

mrspaghetti | 6 November, 2012


It's a reference to the exploding gas tanks of the Pinto.

TikiMan | 6 November, 2012

All joking aside, it is a fact that at this point, more people are familiar with Fisker, than Tesla. Everytimr I tell anyone I am getting a Tesla to, the very first thing they say is..."oh, that cute little electric Lotus car?"

Otherwise, If I say I am getting a electric car, the first responce is... "so, you're getting a Leaf?"

If I say I am getting a really cool exotic electric car, their responce is... "Wow, you're getting a Fisker?!?!"

Give it some time, we are only getting starting ;-)

portia | 6 November, 2012

yeah, @GoTeslaChicago I think we Tesla owners need to be nice and educational to people who are ignorant of what a great car the model S is, we probably don't want to build a public image of people who drive Tesla's are mean or snooty. I will keep the wisecracks to myself and show him the Tesla grin.

TikiMan | 6 November, 2012


As long as they are not a hater, and I have the time, I plan on being as outgoing about my car as possible. I have owned a few really cool cars in my day, and I have always enjoyed talking 'shop' with fellow enthuastic car buffs. Most of these 'car buffs' are the coolest people you will ever meet in your life, and I will NEVER be that snooty 'I am too good for you' exotic car guy!

I always remember when I was a kid, and when I would ask an adult about something impressive that they had, and they acted like I was invisible, I always said... "I will NEVER be that guy!" I don't care if a five-year-old ask me about it, I will still tell him (or her), anything try want to know, with a smile :-)

WolfenHawke | 6 November, 2012


Agree. Remember the original negativity on Prius owners. There was even a SouthPark episode!

We are leaders in a movement here. Fiskers, Volts, Leafs are all at the party.

No, it is not a Fisker/Audi/Panamera/etc. It is the best sedan in production. [Check the car of the year awards for yourself.]

Fog | 6 November, 2012

the thing is Fisker was seen as the real deal because he worked in the auto industry designing hot looking cars. and when people look at the lines of the Fisker, it looks very exotic. but as we know, the model s is just 3.0 compared to anything else out there.

Brian H | 6 November, 2012

'No, much better than that! Bigger, faster, quieter, less expensive. It's a Tesla Model S, 2013 Car of the Year.'

Timo | 7 November, 2012

Fisker Karma is actually quite large car, a bit longer than Model S and only slightly narrower and hum..less tall (WTF is word for "less height") and it weights more. It's just interior that is tiny. Interior is so small that someone categorized it as subcompact even that it is that large.

If you go with "bigger", use "more spacious".

antochat | 7 November, 2012

Wow. Boy do I feel bad for this guy. What a disappointment that car is. Looks beautiful in person but not even in the same league as the Model S!

Sudre_ | 7 November, 2012

Actually I think the new trend comment for when someones car is on fire should be "Hey you have a Fisker!" the persons response should immediately be to call 911 and, "Oh CRAP! my cars on fire."

The comment for when ask tho....

"That's like calling a NAScar a Ford Pinto. This my friend is a Tesla."

Tiebreaker | 7 November, 2012

"No, it's a winner."

Michael23 | 7 November, 2012

Nope that one has the banditio mustache.

Carl Barlev | 7 November, 2012

+1 GoTeslaChicago

+1 portia

Brian H | 7 November, 2012

"No, it's not a putt-putt! All electric Tesla."

Brian H | 7 November, 2012

Interesting, in the video he claimed almost 100 mpg for the Fisker. Evidently he drives slowly (which is normal in a Karma) and not far from home (which is normal in a Karma).

It has about 30(?) miles electric range, and recharges in only 5 hours! That's 6 miles an hour! Such a deal.

Brian H | 7 November, 2012

It's estimated there will be about 4K Karmas in the wild by Jan. 1 2013, btw. Model S should pass them before the end of January. Karma sales will slowly crash after that, as awareness of the S spreads. IMHO. ;)

Tiebreaker | 7 November, 2012

and the already sold Karmas will slowly smolder down....

jbunn | 7 November, 2012

It's kind of sad really. But I don't want to be confused with a hybrid, no matter how expensive or superficialy sexy. IMHO hybrids are a transitional technology, but far too complicated for my liking. My automobile engine already has far too many parts for my liking.

mrspaghetti | 7 November, 2012

@jbunn +1

There's no longer any reason to buy a hybrid. It was an idea that was worth a shot, but in hindsight not worth the effort.

MB3 | 7 November, 2012

not worth the effort? Prius was recently the 3rd best selling car. do so I have to think Toyota may disagree. Our Prius served us very well and got 2 1/2 times the mileage of our other car saving us a bundle on gas. I consider the hybrid a transition technology. Very worth the effort for the first-in-class -- not so much for the also rans.

nickjhowe | 7 November, 2012

Fisher just can't catch a break: Electric car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. lost more than 300 of its Karma plug-in hybrids and other car makers lost thousands of new cars as a result of flooding last week at a New Jersey port due to superstorm Sandy. WSJ story.

Or maybe this is a blessing. They were insured and thus is 300 cars they won't have to scrap when TM eats their lunch.

sagebrushnw | 7 November, 2012

Fisker Automotive has had more than its share of trials and tribulations of late. Now, here is more...

Timo | 7 November, 2012

MB3, I think mrspaghetti is referring to Fisker. Fisker was not worth the effort.

Volker.Berlin | 8 November, 2012

Interesting, in the video he claimed almost 100 mpg for the Fisker. (Brian H)

It is my understanding that this kind of mpg is the result of a very crude calculation. You can see this for all plug-in hybrids, and it's utter nonsense: These folks charge their cars' batteries in their garages, but for calculating such mpg numbers, they only count the actual gallons of gas they filled. You can achieve any number by this approach, it is completely blue sky.

Volker.Berlin | 8 November, 2012

I must say, while I appreciate the generally respectful tone in these forums, I painfully miss it in this particular thread. I understand that there's some fun to Fisker bashing when a) they are seemingly out of luck (whichever fraction of that bad-luck is self-inflicted) and b) you are on the reservation list for a Tesla Model S.

Bashing Fisker is way too easy in this situation and that's precisely why it is no fun at all to me. It's like kicking the poor guy who is already lying on the ground...

And by the way, Tesla is by no means over the hump. Even Toyota recently suffered from not one call-back, but a series of call-backs and that wasn't funny at all (again, partially but not entirely self-inflicted). When Tesla has to issue their first call-back (and at some point they will), your condescending attitude towards Fisker will come to haunt you!

Brian H | 8 November, 2012

Fisker is the author of its own misfortunes. Read the Consumer Reports assessment. As someone said, a designer made a nice shell and plush (but tiny) interior, and completely kludged the drivetrain. Then introduced the car without adequate QC or testing. With a control system/interface that looks like a bad 25-yr. old design.

It deserves all the razzing it gets, and then some.

Timo | 8 November, 2012

@Volker.Berlin These folks charge their cars' batteries in their garages, but for calculating such mpg numbers, they only count the actual gallons of gas they filled. You can achieve any number by this approach, it is completely blue sky.

I don't think that's nonsense. If you drive very short distances with any plugin hybrid you will achieve very high mpg numbers no matter how you calculate them. Of course recharging also has "mpge" but these folks don't count that because electricity is so much cheaper than gasoline. It's money that talks there.

Using money as basis with 250 miles / charge for 85kWh I would get figure that is

250 / 8.5EUR = 250miles / 4.7 liters = 250 miles / 1.24 gallons = 201mpg. Much much higher than EPA figures, but realistically that is what it would be for me compared to ICE car.

ThomasN | 8 November, 2012

+1 VolkerBerlin.

Volker.Berlin | 8 November, 2012

Timo, by your logic the Model S achieves infinite MPG, as would any plug-in hybrid that is only driven within it's electrical range (minus the occasional spinning of the engine just to keep the tubes clean and and the cylinders lubricated). This may be "correct" by some crude logic, but by no means can any useful number be derived from this kind of calculation.

It's a different story if you base the calculation on cost rather than energy, and add the electrical charge to the mix. Numbers derived from that calculation still have more to do with the owner of the car than with the car itself, but may be useful to compare different cars across owners that have very similar usage patterns. However, when people talk about three-digit MPG with their hybrid, they are missing this step. MPG is used to communicate a general trait of a given car, and in this regard, this kind of MPG number is utter nonsense.

Volker.Berlin | 8 November, 2012

Timo, getting back to the same argument once again: It would be much more honest, and understandable, if these owners would state a DPG (days per gallon) number, or GPM (gallons per month). With this kind of unit, everybody would immediately realize that it is very specific to the particular usage pattern. The same is true for the "MPG" as discussed above, but the disclaimer (only valid for my specific usage pattern) is not present, and the ordinary usage of the MPG unit suggests otherwise. If you don't want to call it utter nonsense, you must call it brazenly misleading.

Timo | 8 November, 2012

Yes, it depends of your usage pattern, but I take that as obvious. It's not misleading if you recognize that it might not apply to you.

To completely omit the electric part of the equation would result in incorrect result, but its not complete nonsense even then, just biased to some direction from correct. Complete nonsense would be completely arbitrary result that has nothing to do with reality. It's also that with mpg person might actually mean the actual gasoline used and refer to electricity as mpkWh IE. two completely different measurements.

In that youtube video that guy actually does tell the electricity cost for full charge at the very close to end of the video (25:10). Too bad that he doesn't give that info at the same time when he tells about gasoline usage.

mrspaghetti | 8 November, 2012

MB3 | NOVEMBER 7, 2012 NEW
not worth the effort? Prius was recently the 3rd best selling car. do so I have to think Toyota may disagree. Our Prius served us very well and got 2 1/2 times the mileage of our other car saving us a bundle on gas. I consider the hybrid a transition technology. Very worth the effort for the first-in-class -- not so much for the also rans.

Timo | NOVEMBER 7, 2012 NEW
MB3, I think mrspaghetti is referring to Fisker. Fisker was not worth the effort.

No, I was referring to hybrids in general.

By "not worth the effort" I wasn't implying that it wasn't or isn't profitable for Toyota or others selling hybrids. I mean, it doesn't really put a meaningful dent in CO2 emissions (my Yaris gets almost the same mileage as a Prius) and doesn't save consumers money (you'll never save enough in gas to offset the cost differential between the Prius and an equivalent economy ICE). So it's essentially not achieving the two main objectives of the typical Prius purchaser, therefore not worth it to buy one.

Volker.Berlin | 8 November, 2012

Timo, that's exactly my point: You can design any result you want with this approach. What does this have to do with "reality"? What is your definition of "arbitrary", if not this: I can pick any result and drive accordingly to achieve it?

mrspaghetti | 8 November, 2012


Your point is well taken, but hopefully those of us having a little fun at Fisker's expense on these forums are not out bashing them elsewhere.

Timo | 8 November, 2012

Well, person doing that video didn't pick any result and drive accordingly. That's the point. It will vary, but point that that guy was making in the video was that it will save gas a lot more than what gas only result would be.

It's same with Volt real life results (except that Volt is better than Fisker in almost every way). 40 miles with electric only as commuter car saves a lot of fuel. Guy in the video gives result to his driving at about 23:00 in the video. Looks like his result is Karma display result (98 mpg, 1026 miles).

IOW it is real life result, not goal-driven "I aim to get that result" -result, and as such can be used as one user real life result. It's not arbitrary result.

Volker.Berlin | 8 November, 2012

tesla.mrspaghetti, fair enough.

MB3 | 8 November, 2012

@tesla.mrspaghet. I'm not sure Yaris was available when we got our 2005 Prius. It wasn't on my short list. We actually achieve 50 mpg in our Prius. We swapped from a Nissan Maxima and saved about $20K in gas costs because we drive so much. That more than offsets the additional costs of the hybrid. Yaris is listed as 30 mpg, but what do you actually get? If 30 mpg is right, we would have paid 66% more for gas (still about 10k depending on gas prices in your region)

mrspaghetti | 8 November, 2012


I consistently get about 38 mpg driving mostly highway and have hit 40 when I can keep my lead foot under control. In 2005 I don't think the Yaris was out, but it is essentially a re-branding of the Toyota Echo (I'm not sure how the name 'Yaris' is better, but whatever...)

So let's see, assuming you drive 25k miles/year:

Prius: 25k miles/yr @ 50miles/gal = 500 gallons of gas used/yr
Yaris: 25k miles/yr @ 38miles/gal = 658 gallons of gas used/yr

difference = 158 gallons of gas/yr

Assuming $4/gallon that's about $632/year. At that rate it would take you 16 years to save $10k or 32 years to save $20k.