Price or Prestige? Chevy Volt vs Fisker Karma



Car and Driver’s EV comparison between the Chevrolet Volt and the Fisker Karma EcoSport jumped off the screen at me because we have worked with both of these electric vehicles while installing EV chargers for their owners. We put a Voltec charger in the garage of a single family residence for the Chevy Volt and a Fisker charger in a condo building for the Karma.

Both installations went smoothly, but if forced to choose which car I would drive, I think I would have to lean to the practical side and go with the Volt. It’s a nice all-around vehicle for a reasonable price.

Price is the basis for the Car and Driver comparison in their series “The Smart Money”. They pair vehicles with similar features, but with unmistakably different price tags. Not only is the writing educational, but it is also entertaining, which makes for a great read.

“At a glance, these two cars look vastly dissimilar.

One is mass market and utilitarian, the other a concept car rolling into the real world. Ham-radio operators drive the Volt. Justin Bieber drives the Karma. But underneath, the idea is pretty much the same—they are, for lack of a better term, practical EVs. Technically, the Chevrolet Volt and the Fisker Karma are hybrids, using both batteries and gasoline to effect locomotion via electric motors. Both cars run purely on electricity from the power grid as long as the battery packs hold juice. When the battery range ends, a gasoline engine powers a generator, freeing the driver from the tyranny of charging times and limited EV infrastructure. (The Volt also drives its wheels with its engine under specific circumstances.) The flip side to this arrangement is compromise. A smaller battery pack means less range than a pure EV, and the extra weight kills fuel economy when running in gas-burning mode. How these cars manage that compromise in achieving their eco-friendly missions is the crux of this story.” (Car and Driver)

Read the rest of “2012 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2012 Fisker Karma EcoSport” here.