One of the most exciting new developments in the auto industry is the emergence of small start-ups with big visions for electric-drive cars. But the ability for these companies�like Tesla, Fisker, Coda, Think and Aptera�to fulfill their vast promise is dependent on their ability to deliver cars on a promised schedule.
The Fisker Karma is bold and beautiful�an $87,000 four-door plug-in hybrid theoretically capable of 50 miles of all-electric driving, and then hundreds more miles with help from a 2.2-liter four-cylinder gas engine. But a series of production delays could undermine the credibility of the company with any of its announcements.
In January 2009, chief executive Henrik Fisker said that production of the Karma would �Sdefinitely⬝ begin in December 2009. When December rolled around, Mr. Fisker encouraged consumers to order a Karma right away because production will begin in May 2010. And this week Ray Lane, a managing partner of the venture capital fund Kleiner Perkins, a large shareholder in the company, told Reuters that �Smass production⬝ will begin in February 2011.