Fisker Returning With New Car, New Batteries

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2011 Fisker Karma

Earlier this decade, Henrik Fisker launched the world’s first premium, range-extended plug-in-electric, luxury sports sedan.

To put that jumble of words into something a little more understandable, Fisker’s company created a plug-in hybrid luxury car called the Karma.

Fisker, a car designer credited with the likes of the BMW Z8, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and Aston Martin DB9, launched the Karma in 2011, but was bankrupt by 2014. The company’s remains were purchased by a Chinese investment group with plans to resurrect the Karma as a purely electric vehicle.

Included in the sale was the Fisker brand, so we all assumed Mr. Fisker’s days of car-company ownership were behind him.

Not so fast.

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Volkswagen Promises a Revolution With New Concept

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Volkswagen hasn’t introduced a vehicle as revolutionary as the Beetle since, well, the Beetle.

In the decades since its 1945 debut, the Beetle has become one of the best-selling and longest-running production cars that the world has seen.

The idea for the Beetle began in 1934 when Adolf Hitler gave Ferdinand Porsche the order to build a “people’s car.” Both Volkswagen and the Beetle were born with that order.

Today, Volkswagen has produced more than 20 million Beetles worldwide, giving the Beetle a permanent place in the “world’s most successful automobiles” club.

This year, Volkswagen says it plans to introduce a car that history will remember for being as revolutionary as the Beetle.
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Remember the Sparrow? Here’s the Electra Meccanica Solo

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The promise of an electric car that can travel a hundred miles, be recharged in three hours (on a 220-volt system), and costs just $15,500 is a tempting proposition for some folks.

Make the car a 3-wheeled single seater and the proposition gets a little more convoluted.

Are Americans ready for another 3-wheeled single-occupancy commuter car? A company called Electra Meccanica thinks so, and plans to make its 2017 Solo available in the United States.

But there are some problems.
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Michigan Blocks Tesla from Selling Cars

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Poor Tesla.

All the company wants to do is change the world with electric cars and sell them in a way that hasn’t been done since the turn of the 20th century.

Turns out some people in the auto industry aren’t big fans of change and are working really hard to try and keep things the way they’ve been for the last hundred years.

The latest example just went down in Michigan, where Tesla’s attempt to sell cars directly to customers has been blocked by the state’s government.

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A Brief History of Batteries and Battery Tech

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

What comes to mind when you hear the term “car battery”? Fifteen years ago, the answer would have been quite obvious. But lately the idea of what a car battery entails has shifted away from that essential-but-oft-forgotten black box under the hood to state-of-the-art propulsion systems of the near future. When talking about batteries, we focus less on volts and more on kilowatt-hours and MPGe. We’ve mentioned batteries a lot lately, specifically in regards to the Chevrolet Bolt, GM’s potentially game-changing affordable all-electric vehicle. But when we talk about the Bolt’s 238 miles of battery range, how is that different from talking about the battery at the end of your jumper cables?

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Chevy Bolt Should Eliminate Range Anxiety

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Range anxiety is about to become a quaint memory from the early days of electric cars.

When EV technology was getting started, just a few short years ago, we were lucky to get 40 miles of range on batteries alone.

The original Chevy Volt couldn’t manage much more than a short daily commute and needed a gas-powered motor in addition to the electric one to give buyers some extra peace of mind.

The first all-electric Nissan Leaf fared much better, with an 84-mile range, but still left motorists stranded after pushing the limits too far. Today’s Leaf can top 107 miles of electric range while the much more expensive Tesla Model S can go more than 250 miles.

Chevrolet is about to change the game and combine Tesla-like range with Nissan-like affordability.

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Audi Boosts Investment in Formula E

Audi Formula E

To touch on a subject not normally covered by CarGurus, Audi has announced its expanded involvement in the all-electric Formula E racing series, furthering its support of Team ABT Schaeffler before fielding a full-works team in 2017. Motor racing is an exceptionally expensive business, and with perhaps the exception of Ferrari’s involvement in Formula 1, no manufacturer can simply dabble in the game—there has to be some sort of return on the investment.

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The Automotive Revolution Has Begun

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We are in the midst of a technological revolution in the auto industry. The amount of change in the last five years has probably outpaced what we’ve seen in the last 50. The next five years could change it all again.

Remember when seat belts and air conditioning were considered big developments in the car world? Then came cruise control and heated seats. I, for one, lost my marbles when I finally owned a car that could unlock with the push of a button.

Now I don’t even need keys to unlock, or start, my car. Heck, I don’t even need gasoline any more. My Nissan Leaf, though, hasn’t even begun to crack the surface of what’s coming.

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