Mileage And Jobs: Fisker
By EWI EXCLUSIVE | by Robert Chapman
Monday, December 19th, 2011 @ 10:32PM
The Department of Energy (DOE) has granted Fisker, an American automobile manufacturer in Anaheim, California, $529,000,000 to build a car in Uusikaupunk, Finland. It is a start-up endeavor, starting from scratch with taxpayer money. Appropriately, the car is called a “Fisker.” The over a half billion grant is on condition Fisker will build a manufacturing plant for a smaller Fisker in Delaware. However, the plant is at least a year behind in its construction; and as Fisker announced, its car failed to meet an energy-efficiency standard which will delay the construction of the Delaware plant until 2013.
The Fisker is a hybrid, fueled by both an electric charge and gasoline. The car is lauded by Fisker and the government. It is stylish and boasts a rate of acceleration which surpasses other hybrids. However, car experts doubt it is a true sports car. With its heavy battery load, like other hybrids, it can negotiate straight-away highways; but it cannot not maneuver hairpin turns at high speeds, which is the mark of a sports cars. Plans called to have 4,000 Fiskers on the road in the United States by now. There are presently 40, and because of the price tag, ($98,500 and upwards) they are demonstrated and shown off by such people as Hollywood movie stars. The market place is extremely limited.
Forbes Magazine tested the Fisker and declared it a “flop.” On the ratio of the input of fossil fuel – to service the gasoline engine – the Fisker has the city fuel economy equivalent to a Ford Explorer.
In comparison to the Chevrolet Volt, the Fisker has electric driving range of 32 miles while the Volt’s range is 35 miles. Motorweek Magazine states the difference between a Fisker and Volt is with the Fisker the buyer gets leather seats. The Volt is $60,000 cheaper than the Fisker. If one wants a true sports car, the Porsche Panamera is $20,000 cheaper than the Fisker with a gasoline mileage of 24 mpg.
Each purchaser of a Fisker receives a $7,500 tax credit.
Why the government is putting large amount of money into the development of Fisker is unclear. It does not meet environmental standards and the extremely small market is limited to the very wealthy. However, if for whatever reason, the government craved to develop a car similar to the Fisker, they could fund American, German or Japanese companies to build it in America with American labor. It would mean hundreds of high-paying American jobs.
These companies situate in the United States already have the technicians and factories and for over a quarter of a billion dollars, they would be most obliging. An explanation may be that of the government’s twenty massive loan guarantees, fifteen were awarded to corporations which bundled large contributions to the President’s presidential campaign.
The key investor in Fisker is Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, an investment firm, which bundled $2 million dollars for President Obama’s 2008 election campaign. Al Gore is a partner in the firm.
Categories: U.S. Policy