Mike Stevens | Apr 14, 2009

Boutique automaker Fisker has defied the global financial crisis to secure funding for the development of its electric sedan and convertible.

While motor city crumbles around him, Chief Executive Officer Henrik Fisker secured a cash boost of AUD$116.4 million (US$85 million) despite forecasts of doom for the manufacturer.

The company was adamant it would press on with plans to begin producing its hybrid vehicles this year after receiving 1000 orders and securing a preliminary network of 32 U.S dealers.

fisker-karma_01

Fisker received the cash injection from two venture capital firms, the European-based Eco Drive Capital Partners LLC and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, one of the first companies to invest financially in the manufacturer's vision.

Company head Henrik Fisker told Automotive News the investment will secure the manufacturer's future.

"This investment is a strong endorsement of our business model and future product offerings in a challenging business environment,” he said.

Fisker has set a base price of AU$120,000 (US$87,900) for the battery-powered Karma, capable of an all-electric travel-range of 80 kilometres (50 miles) each day if fully charged.

After reaching this distance, the petrol engine then chips in, also operating as a generator to charge the car's lithium-ion battery.

“Once the 50-mile electric range has been exceeded, the car operates as a normal hybrid vehicle," Fisker says.

“This balance of electric and gas range makes it entirely possible that Karma drivers who charge their car overnight and commute less than 50 miles a day will achieve an average fuel economy of 100 mpg (2.4 l/100km).”

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