CNN Video comparing Tesla and Fisker

CNN Video comparing Tesla and Fisker

There is an interesting video that appeared briefly on the CNN money page that directly compares the MS and the Fisker. Be prepared for a few surprises on her comments about the "cons" on the MS, but overall a very positive report.

jk2014 | 11 January 2013

Range is better on the Karma? Lol.

Great report, just wish the comparison was with new BMW5/7 series instead...

shop | 11 January 2013

The only negative thing mentioned was "range anxiety". I'm going to have to start a new thread asking existing Tesla owners how often they have this. I suspect not very often. Frankly, I have more range anxiety now with my ICE car since I usually push filling up to the last possible moment and then I'll get caught out when I need to make a quick trip somewhere. The other day I ran out of gas literally in the intersection in front of the gas station - I had to push it the rest of the way. I'm looking forward to never having range anxiety again since my car will be "full" every morning (and yes even on overnight trips - I'll stay at hotels that offer plugins).

JZ13 | 11 January 2013

Thanks for the post. She obviously concludes the Tesla is a far better car than the Fisker.

drp | 11 January 2013

It's so great to be on the cutting edge of automotive technology! Thank you very much for this post! I'm always looking for the latest videos on the car and it was really a good show for Tesla!

shs | 11 January 2013

Thanks, I gave a talk to the local Audubon Club last night on Climate change, and when it came to the "What You Can Do" part I probably spent more time on the MS than one might expect, and the audience asked lots of questions about the MS. It is exciting about being in the cutting edge.

Epley | 11 January 2013

She needs new sunglasses. Or none at all.

prash.saka | 11 January 2013

Nice report.

jat | 11 January 2013

@shop - I don't have any range anxiety, but then I haven't traveled out of town yet. But then with my LEAF, I didn't have any range anxiety after the first week or two figuring out how the car was going to behave. My first out-of-town trip next week in the Model S is likely to be the same -- I will take it conservative on the way there, make sure the L2 J1772 chargers at the hotel work as expected, and then not worry about it after that.

GDH | 11 January 2013

The Fisker is a POS.

shs | 11 January 2013

Seriously, I don’t know why the Fisker Karma and the Model S are even discussed in the same paragraph. The Karma is a plug in hybrid with 32-mile electric range and 20 mpg in gasoline mode. And because of its small interior, it’s rated by the EPA as a subcompact. It would seem to be more comparable with a Volt or a Prius, but I think I would rather have either one of those cars over the Karma. Even better a Model S.

jat | 11 January 2013

@shs - the opening statement was two new car companies created in the US, so it seems entirely appropriate to mention them together.

shs | 11 January 2013

jat, i realize that that was the spin on this particular article, but in general, I am surprised how many times they are compared. And it seemed for a while if I googled on Tesla Model S, the top hit would be the FIsker Karma.

petero | 11 January 2013

IMO, the average reporter does not know the difference between a BEV and various hybrids - and they probably don't care. Both TM and Fisker make premuium sedans - that what they see. The fact that one is built by Finns and one by Californians was lost.

TM and Fisker compete for the same customer. It would be unfair (and self serving) of me to mention that TM gets the more intelligent customers.

jk2014 | 11 January 2013

Try selling the karma to a guy or gal with a family... Not even close to the same customer or market as the MS. This car is not going to be sold on being electric alone, but by being the best sedan (dollar for dollar) compared to all other sedans on the market. Karma is by far the least desired among those shopping for a sedan. Ask any person that's looking for a sedan and ask if they were ever considering a Karma. You already know the answer.

jat | 11 January 2013

Both new American car manufacturers, both $100k cars, both driven by electric motors, both receiving government loans for advanced auto development, etc. There are more similarities than you think. We are all here because we think the Model S is a better car, but if Bieber wants to drive around in a chrome-plated Karma then great for him (at least until it catches fire :). The Model S only looks better by comparison.

You could also consider the Karma as equivalent to the Roadster -- impractical, expensive, exotic looking, and a bridge vehicle to fund development on a more practical version. Of course they are 4 years+ late to that game and have chosen a serial hybrid approach, but it seems similar to me.

jk2014 | 11 January 2013

All I'm saying is ask anyone on the planet wanting to purchase a sedan styled vehicle if they think the karma fits the bill... I think it's very clear they're not even close where it actually matters. All the other comparison don't mean jack to the consumer.

jat | 11 January 2013

@jk2014 - the average person on the planet can't afford either of them, so what they they want in a car they will buy doesn't enter into it. They just see both as fancy cars they can't afford.

jk2014 | 11 January 2013

Jat -- the customers (the people that are going to pay whatever the sedan's worth) for an MS are completely different from those for the karma. You already made the point. People that are looking for a sports car are the same people that would consider the karma a choice.

jat | 11 January 2013

@jk2014 - absolutely. But it isn't either Tesla or Fisker customers that CNN or any of the other reporters are catering to, so you shouldn't be surprised if they group them the same way the average guy on the street would.

brijam | 11 January 2013

I don't know much about the Fisker. I'm curious about one of her statements. The woman in the video claimed the Fisker was more technologically advanced than the Tesla. Can anyone tell me in what way it is more advanced? I'm taking delivery of my S in a few weeks and am sure to come up against those kinds of questions.


Alex K | 11 January 2013

@brijam | JANUARY 11, 2013: I'm curious about one of her statements. The woman in the video claimed the Fisker was more technologically advanced than the Tesla.

I'm not sure what she meant either, but maybe she thinks the Fisker is more technologically complex and has that confused with advanced?

Nicu.Mihalache | 12 January 2013

@ Alex K
My thoughts exactly. The technology is much more visible / present to the user, which IMO should not be. The driver needs simplicity, not to be exposed to all the complexity of the beast - an ICE driver does not have to know what sparks / injection / cooling / etc. are and how are they are working to do the job. She only needs to know how to turn the key, the wheel and what the pedals are for :)

Cattledog | 12 January 2013

Nice comparison, I'll take it. All superlatives to Models S, all qualifiers to Fisker.

"It's a game changer." (Model S)

July10Models | 12 January 2013

Reading the Karma specs page, it seem they are trying to hide something. Something like legacy technology in a 21st century car. They didn't bother to provide the specs on the electric motors; are they AC or DC? Why did they use a turbo charge engine when the engine could be use under constant load using the batteries to provide acceleration power. The Karma would be a technological marvel in the 20th century.

jat | 12 January 2013

@AlexK, Nicu - Yes, given the context before her statement it is clear she was talking about the drivetrain and the complexity of it. Her next statement that the Tesla was simple and elegant showed what she meant by it.

Simple hardware is good -- fewer things to go wrong.

Timo | 12 January 2013

As a IT guy I believe Model S has more "hardware" than Fisker. Less moving parts, more hardware.

pablodds | 12 January 2013

I have driven both and have to say Tesla was tremendously much more appealing to me in general, particularly from a performance point of view. The Fisker is definitely a very good looking vehicle, but if it performed as well as it looks then I could start thinking it would be a good option. The amount of storage and cabin space in the Fisker is extremely limited. I don't think Fisker and Tesla Model S should be compared since one carries an ICE and the other doesn't. Tesla is a true paradigm shift for the auto industry in my opinion.

Brian H | 12 January 2013

Looks like The Joker on drugs. A software writer who designs GUIs said the control screen was the worst he'd seen in 10+ yrs. Consumer Report called it an "ergonomic disaster". The back seats are about equivalent to the MS' jumpseats. The drivetrain tunnel is about 1' high. The A123 batteries are currently not made; maybe Johnson Controls will buy and restart the factory, maybe not. It looks sporty, but isn't, unlike the MS looks placid, but isn't.

Technological dog's breakfast.

Production suspended due to quality and supply issues. Au revoir.

P.S. Take Fat Albert with you.

Brian H | 12 January 2013

typo: the MS which ....

stealth_mode | 12 January 2013

@Brian H: +1
that's what crossed my mind the first time : a stupid joker grin...

I would NEVER ever even consider this car.

Flaninacupboard | 13 January 2013

LOL at the Karma's boot (trunk), that thing is a joke. How in the hell is it only 52MPGe?? 650wh/mile is insane. At least now I know why they set on fire, it's all the energy loss going on somewhere (inverter? motor?)

David Dennis | 13 January 2013

I think it's perfectly fine to compare the two vehicles - they are both (at least partially) electric and they are both created by new startup companies.

Of course every test report I've read has raved about the Tesla and considered the Fisker to be mediocre to lousy, but that doesn't mean they do not attempt to compete in the same market.

I really do feel sorry for this guy, who definitely should have waited for Model S:

I've tried Tesla's infotainment system, and it's just awesome and extremely well thought out.

As for why the Fisker has poor fuel economy, my guess is that it's big and extremely heavy. Adding the ICE to batteries does that to a car ...


jat | 13 January 2013

@David Dennis - not to mention running an ICE to turn a generator to produce electricity to charge the battery isn't exactly the most efficient process.