Expert Says Engine Not Batteries Likely Caused Fisker Karma Fire


Recently we learned that a new Fisker Karma suddenly caught fire after its owner pulled into his garage.  There were some concerns brought out by Fisker about fireworks and electric subpanels in the garage, but the jury is still out on what caused the fire.

Jon Bereisa is the  CEO of consultancy Auto Lectrification, and formerly chief of General Motors vehicle electrification engineering team.  He has extensive inside knowledge about EVs and EV production, having engineered the original GM EV-1 project.

Bereisa has had the chance to drive a Karma and has also taken careful look into the design and packaging of the vehicle.

Bereisa believes the engine compartment of the vehicle is way too cramped.  “That engine is shoehorned into that bay, because they had to use a larger engine, because it was too heavy a car, he told Automotive News. “As a result, there’s no room for exhaust routing and heat shielding to route the heat away.”

He also points out that the vehicle works the big engine very hard adding to the dilemma.  The Karma when running is “using the hell out of that motor-generator,” he said.

Bereisa thinks it was excessive heat in the engine compartment that caused the recent fire not the battery.  “You don’t smell rubber with batteries, but you will if it’s something on the engine,” he said.

Fisker not happy with these comments fighting back in a press release. “Our technologies and engine design have been fully tested and certified at the highest level,” said Paul Boskovitch, Director of Powertrain & Engineering of Fisker Automotive. “It is irresponsible and ill-informed for technology pundits to suggest otherwise in order to secure media attention for unfounded claims.”

Meanwhile Beresia, Fisker, and the EV community at large waits for official word on the cause of the fire.  It seems inevitable that the vehicle will be at fault.  Perhaps too much ambition and performance from a team with too little experience, but only time will tell.

Unfortunate bad news for a fledgling industry just trying to get its feet off the ground.

Source (Automotive News)


Categories: Fisker / Karma


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2 Comments on "Expert Says Engine Not Batteries Likely Caused Fisker Karma Fire"

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You really got to pity Fisker with these problems they have been having. I still think they would be smart to find a partner, especially one with deep pockets. I know Fiat has been looking for partners to help them achieve larger economies of scale, perhaps they would be a good fit for Fisker. The reason I bring this up is Fiat/Chrysler currently have nothing to speak of in the EV realm. Fisker would indeed be high-end, but would give Fiat/Chrysler an already developed “in” to the EV market, and would be able to back Fisker up with development resources and capital. Further, I could envision an EREV Chrysler 200 or such, rolling off the same Wilmington, DE assembly line as the Fisker Atlantic. Both companies could, at least on paper, see benefits out of a pair-up like that.

As for this garage fire, I really hope it wasn’t the battery.

Got to wonder why certain areas of the media are so all over this. Have we never ever had a fire in a garage involving a vehicle before, or a crash with a fire which burnt or killed some unfortunate soul, or continue to have similar accidents involving oil burning vehicles everyday somewhere in the world?

How about some perspective?