Fisker Automotive Adds $115 Million

Fisker Automotive, an Irvine, Calif.-based electric vehicle maker, has raised $115.3 million in new VC funding. Backers include A123 Systems, Ace Investments and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Lithium-ion battery maker A123 yesterday announced that it would invest $23 million, and provide power packs for a rechargeable luxury car being launched later this year (Fisker Karma).

Fisker previously raised more than than $160 in VC funding, from firms like Kleiner Perkins, Eco-Drive (Capital) Partners, Palo Alto Investors and Al Ghaffara Investment Co. It also recently secured a $528 million low-cost loan from the Department of Energy, which was conditioned on the company raising additional private equity.

PRESS RELEASE

New American carmaker Fisker Automotive has secured access to an additional $115.3 million in private equity funding to develop plug-in hybrid cars.   

This funding is necessary for Fisker Automotive (www.fiskerautomotive.com) to access a $528.7 million U.S. Department of Energy conditional loan that will, in part, help speed completion of the Fisker Karma, the company’s first plug-in hybrid. 

The raise comes at a time when capital is scarce, the auto industry is struggling and the global economy is just beginning to rebound.

Starting at $87,900 the Karma paves the way for development of lower-cost plug-in hybrid technology for a second, family-oriented car code named Project NINA.  Project NINA is expected to be built in Wilmington, Delaware at a former General Motors assembly plant starting in 2012. 

“Raising $115 million in these times speaks volumes about the value of our business model and the vast potential of plug-in hybrids,” said Henrik Fisker, CEO.

Investors include A123 Systems, Ace Investments and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Fisker Automotive earlier this week signed a multi-year supply agreement with A123 Systems for the lithium-ion batteries that will power the Karma. 

“Fisker Automotive selected A123 because of the company’s ability to meet our performance needs and rapidly scale to our production volume,” said Fisker.  “We are committed to developing environmentally friendly cars that don’t sacrifice style or performance.  A123′s technology will ensure the Karma delivers.”

Designed and engineered in the U.S., the four-door Karma proves eco-friendly cars can still have style and power.  The Karma can reach 60mph in six seconds and top 125mph, yet runs cleaner and more efficiently than today’s most popular hybrids.

ABOUT FISKER AUTOMOTIVE, INC.

Fisker Automotive is a privately owned, premium American car company with a vision to lead the automotive industry into the next-generation of automobiles with high-end design expertise and eco-friendly powertrain technology.  Global headquarters are in Irvine, California, USA.

The company was created in 2007 to leverage the design capabilities of Fisker Coachbuild, LLC, founded by auto design veterans Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler, and the PHEV powertrain capabilities of Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. (Nasdaq: QTWW), a major Tier 1 supplier of clean vehicle technologies to the automotive OEMs.  Previously, Fisker, CEO, was design director for Aston Martin and president and CEO of BMW’s DesignworksUSA.  Koehler, COO, led operations for Ford’s Global Advanced Design Studio and created concept cars for Aston Martin, MINI and BMW.

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