Liberals in Congress – and President-elect Barack Obama – have proposed federal investment in “green” technology to jump start the industry. But is it really necessary to spend taxpayers’ dollars on projects a private market could handle?
Henrik Fisker, a world-renowned car designer, came up with a “green car” people might actually want to buy, according to the CBS “Evening News” Nov. 24. And he did it without any help from the federal government or the ailing Big Three U.S. automakers – General Motors (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F) or Chrysler (NYSE:DAI).
“So, the vision is to do a high performance, luxurious, sexy-looking car, which gets better miles per gallon than a Toyota Prius,” Fisker said.
“The Karma is a plug-in hybrid. It can go 50 miles on an electric charge before a gas engine kicks in to power its lithium-ion battery,” CBS correspondent Anthony Mason said. The car’s roof features a curved solar panel, which Fisker claims is the first in the world.
According to Mason’s report, the Karma will go 125 miles an hour and costs $80,000. “But within a few years Fisker hopes to produce a $40,000 version of this lean green machine,” Mason said.
“The Danish-born Fisker, who designed the Z8 for BMW and the DB-9 for Aston-Martin, then owned by Ford, grew frustrated by the bureaucracy at the big car companies, so he started his own,” Mason said.
Fisker said he wasn’t happy with the federal government’s attention to Big Three automakers, which thanks in large part to overwhelming union contracts are making the case for a federal bailout – even though some congressional leaders say they are pushing aid for the automakers to “create green collar jobs.”
“For all the debate over whether the
Despite showing he can do it without the big hand of government aiding him, Fisker told CBS News he thought he should at least be part of a government auto bailout since he has proven that a “green” sporty car can be manufactured.
“I think they should, actually, because we are pioneers and we are coming out leading the way and showing how it could be done,” Fisker added.