Fisker finally gets EPA approval, sells first KarmaS

After years of delay, Fisker Auto has cleared one final hurdle with the achievement of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions approval, and the first cash for a Fisker Karma has traded hands. How much gas those wealthy Karma buyers will save is still a mystery, but not for much longer. UPDATE Mystery over.

The move means Henrik Fisker's firm now has to deliver on promises to set luxury motoring on its ear with a plug-in electric vehicle with a GM-sourced 2-liter turbo range extending engine. Even earlier this year, Fisker execs were still vowing "summer" deliveries; the first cars delivered last month were actually Fisker test vehicles, since it couldn't sell vehicles without EPA certification. The company has denied a European report that it's facing delays in getting emissions approvals there.

Fisker officials told us they now have all proper paperwork from U.S. and California officials, and should announce in a matter of hours the Karma's official mileage figures. The company is standing by the forecast for 10,000 Karma sales this year; that's a lot of charging for a $97,000 ride. We'll update when we get the new figures.

UPDATE: Fisker announced the EPA had rated the Karma for 32 miles of all-electric range, and a "combined" rating of 52 mpg when both gasoline and electric power is put together. That's far lower than the 100 mpg Fisker once promised and the 60 mpge from the Chevy Volt. When running its 2-liter engine, the Karma gets just 20 mpg — comparable to what a BMW 740i manages.