Mar 08

Automotive News reports:

DETROIT (Reuters) — A $100,000-plus Fisker Automotive luxury car died during Consumer Reports speed testing for reasons that are still unknown, leaving the struggling electric car startup with another blow to its image.

“It is a little disconcerting that you pay that amount of money for a car and it lasts basically 180 miles before going wrong,” David Champion, senior director for the magazine’s automotive test center, told Reuters.

Fisker has benefited from the publicity generated when actor Leonardo DiCaprio was handed the first Karma last summer and pop idol Justin Bieber received one as a gift this month.

The breakdown of the Consumer Reports car is more bad news for a company that already recalled some Karmas. Fisker also has changed its CEO and halted production over the past month as it seeks to renegotiate the terms of a $529 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.

One of Fisker Automotive’s primary financial backers is venture captital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, of which Al Gore is a partner.  Fisker also received a $528.7 million conditional loan from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program.  That’s a LOT of money to produce only 200-300 cars thus far, some of which seem to  be lemons.

This is the same company that last year caught flak because after it secured the US government financing, started assembling their cars in – Finland.

By the looks of things, Fisker Automotive seems headed for the same fate as Solyndra.

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Jan 14

Climategate: The Crutaper Letters, written by Steven Mosher and Tom Fuller has just been released:

The Climategate scandal covered from beginning to end–from ‘Hide the Decline’ to the current day. Written by two authors who were on the scene–Steven Mosher and Tom Fuller–Climategate takes you behind that scene and shows what happened and why.

For those who have heard that the emails were taken out of context–we provide that context and show it is worse when context is provided.

For those who have heard that this is a tempest in a teacup–we show why it will swamp the conventional wisdom on climate change.

And for those who have heard that this scandal is just ‘boys being boys’–well, boy. It’s as seamy as what happened on Wall Street.

Mosher, widely known, as a “lukewarmer” is perhaps the one man outside of the Motley CRU, The Hockey Team, and the whistle blower/hacker to receive the file, and recognize the game-changing importance of what he was reading.  Mosher’s story was told in vivid detail a couple of days ago by Steve McIntyre.

Tom Fuller is a writer and self-described “liberal skeptic”, and was perhaps the first journalist to cover the Climategate story in detail as it was breaking.

So, one is a liberal  and the other is a “lukewarmer”, so it’s hard to dismiss them out-of-hand as right-wing ideologues.  Undoubtedly, Joe Romm and others will smear them anyway – it’s what the alarmists do when they’re desperate.

Hat tip: Many thanks to Steven Mosher for the heads up.

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Sep 29

This story broke a few days ago, but here’s some video via Fox News:

The Wall Street Journal noted that not only is Al Gore a partner in the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers venture capital firm that is a top investor in Fisker, but Gore is also one of the first people in line to receive delivery of one of these $89,000 hybrid sports cars:

The Karma will target an exclusive audience — Gore was one of the first to sign up for one. Mr. Fisker says all new technology starts out being expensive. He pointed to flat-screen televisions that once started at $25,000 but are now affordable to the mass market.

The four-door Karma, powered by a lithium-ion battery, will be able to run solely on electric power for 50 miles, and will achieve an average fuel economy of 100 mpg over the span of a year, the company says. Production is scheduled to start in December, with about 15,000 vehicles a year expected to hit the U.S. market starting next June.

Many of the 1,500 people who have made deposits on the Karma are former BMW and Mercedes owners who want an environmentally friendly car without sacrificing luxury, Mr. Fisker said.

He said he pitched the Karma to Mr. Gore at an event hosted by KPCB last year, and that the former vice president almost immediately submitted a down payment for the car.

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