Fisker Raises $100 Million to Buoy Luxury Plug-in Car Business
Fisker Automotive Inc., the maker of luxury plug-in hybrid cars, said it raised more than $100 million from private investors as the startup tries to overcome issues with its Karma sedan and readies a second model.
The current equity financing round increases the total raised to more than $1.2 billion, the Anaheim, California-based carmaker said in an e-mailed statement today. Production plans and details of the Atlantic, Fisker’s second rechargeable model, will be provided by December, the company said.
The additional funding “is another major vote of confidence in Fisker’s pioneering technology and business model,” Chief Executive Officer Tony Posawatz said in the statement.
Fisker announced the funding a day after its $103,000 Karma, which goes about 40 miles (64 kilometers) on battery power before a gasoline engine propels it, was criticized by Consumer Reports. The magazine didn’t recommend the car, citing its interior design and reliability. The carmaker, co-founded by designer Henrik Fisker, has recalled Karmas for flawed lithium- ion batteries from A123 Systems Inc. (AONE) and cooling fans.
The carmaker, which was approved for $529 million in U.S. Energy Department loans in 2009 to develop and build its vehicles, also has to work out an agreement with federal officials after being cut off from one of its loans last year. Fisker’s plan to use those funds to make its second model at a closed General Motors Corp. plant in Wilmington, Delaware, has been stalled since February.
Fisker’s statement today didn’t list the investors. Venture capital (KLDO) firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Palo Alto Investors LLC have backed the company, and in July it said actor Leonardo DiCaprio, a Karma owner, had invested in the company and would help promote the vehicle.
About 1,500 Karmas have been delivered to customers in the U.S. and Europe since December, the company said today.
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