Fisker Raises More Equity, Plans Car Launch

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Fisker Automotive said on Saturday it has raised $35 million of private equity to close a $189 million funding round that will allow the company to launch its plug-in hybrid electric car.

The total includes the $115 million Fisker said it had secured in January, when it cleared a key financing hurdle to draw on U.S. government loans.

The administration of President Barack Obama has awarded billions in grants and other financing for U.S. companies to develop next-generation battery technology.

The California-based start-up closed a $529 million U.S. Energy Department loan in April.

The Karma, Fisker’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, is a rechargeable sports car, scheduled to start production this year. It is designed to travel 50 miles (80 km) on a single charge, and has a gasoline generator that extends the range an additional 250 miles (400 km).

The car, which will sell for around $87,900, will be built in Finland by Valmet Automotive.

Fisker has previously said its investors include: A123 Systems Inc (AONE.O), which has signed a deal to supply lithium-ion battery packs to Fisker, Silicon Valley-based Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Ace Investments.

Fisker is also developing a second, lower-cost rechargeable vehicle it expects to start building in 2012. That sedan is expected to sell for some $47,400 before a U.S. tax credit to consumers of $7,500. (Reporting by Dana Ford; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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