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How the Fisker Karma, an electric sports car, became a billion-dollar failure

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Broken Fisker Karma
Broken Fisker Karma

The Fisker Karma was supposed to be an incredible environmentally friendly luxury car: a plug-in hybrid backed by image-conscious individuals like Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore. The company fell far short of that goal. After shipping only 2,000 cars — one of which caught on fire and another which stunningly failed in a Consumer Reports test — the company has laid off three-quarters of its staff, and seems to be teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, faced with lawsuits and debt. How did the company go from obtaining $1.2 billion dollars in capital and a $200 million government loan to this sorry state? GigaOm and PrivCo each trace the story at our source links.