Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Al Gore´s new car

Al Gore must  be a very disappointed man these days. Along with Colin Powell and 3000 other "environmentalists" he will still have to wait for the car of their dreams, the Fisker Karma, while Hollywood eco-fighter Leanardo DiCaprio jumps the queue:

The man largely credited with turning the Toyota Prius into a bonafide celebrity is about to add a bit more green to his garage.
Fisker Motors announced last week that Leonardo DiCaprio will be the first to receive keys to a 2011 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid – an honor that places him ahead of more than 3,000 others, including Al Gore and Colin Powell.

It is easy to understand why Al Gore wants to lay his hands on this car

This is how the manufacturer describes DiCaprio´s contribution to the project:

The Karma was inspired in part by actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco.  DiCaprio's role came when he was seen by Henrik Fisker arriving at the Academy Awards in a fuel-efficient Toyota Prius, even though he could be driving something much more opulent.   His Royal Highness Prince Albert commented to Fisker and Koehler that he would like to drive a fuel-efficient luxury car, having seen the Fisker Tramanto, a high-performance coachbuilt car based on the Mercedes-Benz SL500.  

(There is no mention about the royal environmentalist Albert also jumping the queue, but Al Gore better be prepared for another disappointment)

This is why the $100K vehicle, capable of running for up to 50 miles on its lithium-ion battery pack, must be the ideal car for the world´s first carbon billionaire Gore:

Two rear-mounted electric traction motors, mid-mounted lithium ion battery pack and front/mid-mounted range-extending gasoline engine/generator set
Battery: 20 kWh, 180 kW lithium ion w/Nanophosphate™ technology (A123 Systems)
Range extending Engine/Generator Set: 2.0-liter, 260hp, low-emission, four-cylinder direct fuel-injection w/ turbocharger (GM Ecotec®) and 175 kW generator
Traction Motors: 403 hp (300 kW) total [2 x 201.5 hp (150 kW)]

Motor Trend magazine´s description: the dual electric motors (coupled to act like one) shovel a nice 403 hp and a naughty 981 lb-ft of torque to the single-speed gear reduction. Technically, that's more torque than a Bugatti Veyron (This is a feature that Gore - who is used to fast travelling by private jets - must like)

And the big battery is not the only environmentally correct feature. This list of interior and exterior details and options should make all celebrity environmentalists salivate:

  • Certified Sunken Wood™ sourced from the bottom of Lake Michigan; White Oak, pure grain finished naturally 
  • Certified Fallen Wood™ sourced from old growth felled by California storms; Mahogany, pure grain finished naturally 
  • Certified Rescued Wood™ sourced from California wildfires - Walnut, pure grain finished naturally 
  • Animal-free execution that sets the benchmark for responsible luxury 
  • Premium EcoSuede™ interior reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 80% during the recycling process
  • Incremental features unique to EcoChic™Interior Materials
  • Available Diamond Dust Paint with 35% - 55% recycled glass flake 
  • EcoLucent™ transparent battery column and door inserts made from 40% post-industrial recycled content 
  • Chrome-free, semi-aniline premium 'Bridge of Weir Low Carbon Leather TM'  interior prepared in 100% energy self-sustaining facility that sources hides from suppliers that abide by the Five Freedoms of humane animal treatment 
  • Incremental features unique to EcoSport™ 
  • Carpet backing made from recycled post consumer materials
  • Wing wood substrate made with recyclable post consumer pine fiber 
  • Seating foam made from soy-based bio fiber
  • Eco-Enzo™  windshield wipers from certified crashed and recycled Ferraris (just a joke)
The almost endless list of climate correct extras makes one expect that the owners also are made of recycled stuff. While it may take a while before we are there, environmentally conscious  drivers will at least be able to by a solar powered bikini for their lady passenger...

It is not difficult to imagine the exhilarating feeling, when Gore on a balmy summer evening drives the Karma from his nine bathroom ocean view mansion to Malibu beach for a midnight swim with a lady companion - convinced that he is saving the world from catastrophic global warming at the same time ...


Whatever one may think about the whole project, the people behind the Karma are at least to be congratulated for surviving the enormous paper work (most of which is the direct result of people like Gore) required for this eco-beauty to hit the market:

Because the Karma will be sold the world over, Fisker engineered the car to be compliant with all applicable regulations for crash, emissions and homologation in the US, Canada, the EU, Japan, China, GCC (Middle East) and Russia. The 840 rules, at an average of 54 pages each, encompass 43,000 pages and require the submission of an additional 30,000 pages of documents and images. Together they would fill 70 three-inch ring binders. Stacked atop each other these binders would reach more than 11 feet high.

More info on the Karma here

1 comment:

Vannessa said...

It's probably a marketing tool for the Karma. Al Gore is popular, but DiCaprio sells. If he were seen driving that down the streets, he might even convince non-environmentalists to reconsider their cars.

Vannessa Gabbett