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Bad Karma: Taxpayers Get Taken for a $193 Million Ride

Written by Gary North on April 26, 2012

Fisker Automotive has released a hybrid car, the Karma. The U.S. government lent the company $193 million to produce it.

It gets 50 miles on a single battery charge. Not 50 miles an hour. Fifty miles.

It has a 400-horsepower engine. It needs it to charge the battery.

It costs over $102,000 in a stripped-down model, or $117,000 fully equipped. Plus tax and license.

It’s gorgeous, as any car designed for the super-rich ought to be.

Its wood trim comes from trees dredged up from the bottom of Lake Michigan. This is a tree-hugger’s dream come true, if he has $117,000 plus tax and license.

Sadly, 239 of them have been recalled for a battery-related defect.

Unfortunately, the latest news is that the company is about to be hit with a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of possible fraud.

The government proves once again that it is looking out for the taxpayers. First, it makes sure that the Beverly Hills set has more opportunities to indulge their environmental proclivities. Then it sends in the regulators.

The taxpayer can’t win, either coming or going.

Take a virtual test drive. That’s all you be able to afford.

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14 thoughts on “Bad Karma: Taxpayers Get Taken for a $193 Million Ride

  1. Bill McCroskey says:

    Coal, gas fired or nuke electric plants ??? Where are the 'greens' of this issue? Horse and buggies are the only 'green' answer …'cept where do we get the horses feed from …. tractors and combines that's where (massive users of fossil fuels) damn !! lets just bike and walk everywhere. Anyone that 'virtually invented the internet' (Al Gore) can surely solve this little problem..

  2. The end goal of the environmentalists is to either eliminate humanity, or to reduce our numbers to such an extent that we will have no impact on the planet. They are anti-people, which is why all of their prescriptions will make it harder to survive: harder to travel, to manufacture things, to grow food, to build shelter. Don't take them seriously.

  3. Fisker was given the money for only 2 reasons: 1) Political Payback with Other People's Money (ours); and 2) an attempt to APPEAR to be furthering the Green Movement.

  4. sean murry says:

    Piece of crap.

  5. billstanley1 says:

    The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid car seems to have everything the rich and famous, and environmentally correct look for. Sleek silhouette? Check. Green credentials? Check. Six-figure price tag? Check. Reliable battery? Oops. In a test conducted by Consumer Reports magazine, the $107,850 sports car died after a short ride at 65 miles per hour on a Connecticut test track. "We have owned our car for just a few days; it has less than 200 miles on its odometer … We buy about 80 cars a year and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process." A light on the dashboard came on, signaling battery trouble. The car wouldn’t restart after the test driver parked it. http://www.newsandopinions.net

  6. radlerjr says:

    You are usually thorough and do your homework but in this case you've let us down. The DOE loan in retrospect was probably a mistake since it is now being cast in the same light as the Solyndra debacle. Fisker took the DOE loan as it offered a favorable way to finance the start up of it's Deleware plant to build what then was termed the "Niina". The DOE is now reneging and so Fisker is in process of raising capital to have the option to pay down outstanding amount on DOE loan. Advanced Equities has been under investigation for some time. Because some disgruntled, small investor brings suit because they didn't understand the need of a "captial call" (which by the way is all related to the DOE reneging on the loan) has no bearing on what kind of company Fisker is. I test drove the car and I would side with the "Car & Driver" writer who claimed: "Fisker will do to the automotive industry what Apple did to the MP3 player industry". It's truly amazing. And I would add that in the age of government bail outs of companies due to heavy union lobbies, Fisker will be adding jobs on redefining how cars are made here in the US.

  7. More "green" crap perpetrated by the dictator to pander for donations. Giving these destined-to-fail companies our money is criminal…..the government is not a venture capitalist organization!!! These plug in cars are a farce…..tell me, how much will our electric bill go up, having to plug it in continuously….who provides electricity at work???? Who pays for that???? I'm really tired of all this…..we are impatiently waiting for November!!!

  8. @radlerjr,
    Your points may be valid about the technicalities. That said there are several key points. First,this is a foreign company so even if jobs are created in the US the benefits won't stay in the US. Also the company initially really didn't need theloan, form what I've read, so why did they take it? Also do you really believe that the US taxpayers whose money has been used for all these terrible "green" loans will ever see any return of their $$s. I seriously doubt it. Finally, hybrids by definition are worse for the environment than say a diesel TDI because of the battery pack and the fact that the electricity often comes from coal-fired plants. Hybrids are a transition and I'd bet that within a decade they won't be produced. I disagree with your premise that Fisker will be like Apple's MP3.

  9. radlerjr says:

    I don't think the government should be involved in any private enterprise and things work much better when they stay away. They need capital to build assembly plant in Deleware. Most investors are US citizens. The car is not a hybrid – it's an extended range electric vehicle.

  10. i THINK THOSE WHO THINK WE HAVE TO MANY PEOPLE ON EARTH SHOULD DO THE RIGHT THING AND LOWER THE NUMBERS PERSONALLY

  11. WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM? OBAMAITE, OR LIBTARDUS. you make no sense, this was a crony deal from the start and we are the losers, just like Solyndra, first energy and the others. Cornhusker payoff, Georgia payoff with 8 billion dollar nuclear plant for Gods sake! WAKE UP ANSD SMELL THE CRAPOLA!!!

  12. Public Citizzen says:

    You forgot one little problem. The output of the energy production cycle of the horse.
    What you get is one horsepower per hour and a lot of byproducts from the digestion of large quantities of fodder, commonly called DUNG.
    If you research the editorial columns of New York City [or any other large city of the time] for the 1900 era a major concern was what to do with all the manure deposited on city streets. The horseless carriage was being heralded as the solution for THE pollution problem of the day.
    Message to the "greens": Be careful what you wish for, you may actually get it.

  13. A 6 YEAR OLD MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE HAS AS GOOD A LOOK AS THIS OVERPRICED CAR.