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March 2012 Posts
Join Bo and Ryan as they chat about Bo's Fisker Karma.
Don't just listen to the EVcast -- experience and be a part of it! Join us at 1:00pm Eastern, M-F, in our live video broadcast and chat along with us!
Bo, Congratulations. It is nice to hear some positive feedback about the Fisker Karma.John C. Briggs
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I suspect the Karma solar panel puts out a dozen or so volts. The Karma traction battery is probably a few hundred volts. There is a monetary cost and some loss of electrical energy when up-converting voltage. If the solar panel only added 10 yards of range would it be of benefit?
I don't have my own Karma yet (only been waiting since December though) but I have some useful info, notes i made while listening. A lot of my info is from fiskerbuzz.com (note: not "karmabuzz" :-) )On "hill mode" vs brakes: yes, Hill 1 and Hill 2 are just "pressing the brake lightly" in terms of regen, except the brake lights don't light up. (Some of us think maybe they should, although the amount of regen braking you get is similar to what you get in a stick shift with engine braking, and that also doesn't light the brake lights.) The reasons to use the hill modes are: 1, it's more convenient, and 2, clearly you won't accidentally engage the friction brakes this way. The same home charger they sell, but without the Fisker branding, is available at Home Depot for $750 (and if you take it apart you'll see it "ought to be" well sub-$100, there's very little to it).We'll see if software version 6.15 fixes most of the software bugs. Should be out "real soon now", they say.@Robert Mitchell: the solar panel charges the 12V system (standard lead-acid battery), not the high voltage system (electric drive motors), so there's no loss there, there's just no "gain" (as it were) if the 12V battery is "full". Here's the rest of the logic though: If the 12V lead-acid battery is low, the car will use the HV system tocharge the 12V system (hence draining away some of your 50 mile range), so the solar panel "adds range" by avoiding the subtraction of range.
I think the most interesting thing is the "Double press" of the start button. I think Bo has hacked into the Matrix with that one. Overall, a very interesting show. The Karma is undeniably beautiful, but it does seem like it'd complicate driving when in the hands of non-techically minded people.
Bo gets his Fiskar Karma finally, on Valentine's Day! Woo-hoo!
Great driving experience it sound like...
... but computer system quirks-Is it fly-by-wire? Is so, Kim may have some concerns- reference the Toyota incidents a couple of years ago. Maybe its good there aren't wirless updates;-)
Using mostly electric over gas, it sounds like. It would interesting if the Karma owners open up a site like this one for the Volt owners, to track the car's stats: http://www.voltstats.net/ It makes for an interesting summary of several hundred Volt drivers in the real world.
The Ampera in Europe, the Volt's sister car, has an extra setting to turn off the battery, to save it for city driving, whereas the Volt, like the Karma, does not- perhaps the next model or next software update will.
Given your issue with charging the car and the motorcycle, you might have an electrician come out and install a 240 Volt outlet on its own circuit- you can probably get it done much cheaper than thru Fiskar, unless Fiskar's includes some sort of power management in the wall charger that is not on your car's internal system for fast charging- might make sure of that!
I don't think anyone, who has added solar panels in the past to their cars, connects it to the batteries- they have all used them for the auxiliary items and/or conditioning the driver compartment. I would guess that they are on different systems, so had to choose one over the other, and probably get greater utility with the solar panels attached to the auxiliaries- and by pre-conditioning the cabin, will indirectly increase the mileage for all-electric driving.
Well- sounds like you love your Karma! I am happy for you, and glad of early adopters like yourself who are helping to make the next generation of EVs more affordable for drivers like me;-)
And you gotta post a video of your Karma! I can't believe you haven't already!
I miss the evcast. I guess a internet show about EVs is too obscure to make you FAMOUS! Oh well back to eestor debunking. Anyone want to bet on whether or not eestor is a scam?
Sounds like you should have bought a Nissan Leaf. They work great with no bugs. BTW we need an EVcast more than ever. Evcast could join another tech network and do one show every two months.
Thanks for the update. I always look at gas2.org for some of the latest info while I listen to the show. so happy one of you finally have an electric car. Hopefully Ryan gets one in the next couple years. I think Leaf sales may have slowed because the new model year is suppose to have further range.The typical electric car gets about 300 Watt hours per mile (Wh/mi): GM EV1 179 Wh/mi, Tesla Model S 300 Wh/mi, Nissan Leaf 250-295 Wh/mi. BYD e6 325 Wh/mi. Ethanol can be produced at 350-420 gallons per acre and rising. Assume you can drive a car 30 miles with ethanol optimized engine. Thus you can drive car 11,100 miles per acre of corn a year. However, photovoltaics can generate 127,000 watts per acre for 5 hours a day. 775,000 miles generated per acre of photovoltaics a year. The photovoltaics to ethanol has a 70:1 ratio.