Feeds

Fisker prevails in Tesla tech theft claim fight

CEO didn't steal electric car firm's technology, arbitrator rules

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

'Leccy Tech It may lack the romance of Jarndyce vs Jarndyce, but it seems that first blood in the nasty little California 'leccy car legal spat has gone to Fisker.

Back in April, Tesla sued Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker alleging he had nicked Tesla technology and incorporated it into the forthcoming $80,000 Fisker Karma four-door hybrid über-saloon.

Henrik Fisker and the Fisker Karma

Fisker may well have been in a position to do so as he did some early design and interior work on the Tesla S, the four-door saloon car that may or may not look like this and may or may not hit the tarmac in 2010 or 11.

Both sides agreed to go to arbitration, and yesterday said the mediator had found that Fisker had done nothing wrong, saying that the evidence that Fisker was innocent was “overwhelming”. Tesla's assertion of violations of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act by Fisker were "baseless and neither brought nor pursued in good faith".

Tesla naturally doesn't see things that way. Marketing chief Darryl Siry was quoted as saying: "We disagree with the ruling, and we're focused on producing and shipping cars to our customers."

It would be churlish to suggest that Tesla's annoyance is down to the fact that Fisker is saying it will have the Karma on the roads in a year's time, a good six, and possibly 12 months ahead of the Tesla S. Back in September, Fisker successfully raised $65m in further funding.

Fisker has taken a slightly different technical route to Tesla, the Karma not being a pure-breed plug-ino electric. Instead, Fisker uses what it calls the Q-Drive, a system whereby a “small” - but still good for 250bhp - four-cylinder petrol engine turns a generator which is used to charge a lithium-ion battery pack that then drives the wheels.

Q-Drive is the brainchild of Quantum Technologies, the company behind the drivetrain of the Chevrolet Volt.

'Stealth' mode included

The Karma will have two driving modes: Stealth, in which the car is powered by the battery charge, and Sport, which uses “the full power of the vehicle” - presumably battery power and juice direct from the generator that's then being driven by the petrol engine. Fisker is on record as saying that when going full chat, the Karma sounds like a “combination of a jet fighter and an F1 car”. That we want to hear.

Fisker also claims a full charge is good for 50 miles of battery powered motoring, and as its research suggests that 60 per cent of European and American commutes are shorter than that, most Karma trips should be powered by a domestic charge rather than by the four pot.

In Stealth mode, the Karma will be limited to a top speed of 95mph, but in Sport it will be good for 125 while the 0-60 time is stated as six seconds. By combining a fully charged battery and a full tank of gas, drivers should be able to get around 100mpg and a range of 620 miles.

Solar panel on board

It will also come with a solar panel roof that will help charge the battery pack and keep the cabin cool when parked under that blistering California sun.

Currently, Fisker says it has firm orders for 500 cars and expects production to hit 15,000 units a year.

Fisker Karma Photo Gallery

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.