Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan
The initial 2012 Fisker Karma will in a future be delivered by a finish of this month and, fittingly, movie star Leonardo di Caprio will get a keys to Karma numero uno. Al Gore as good as Colin Powell will be receiving smoothness of their plug-in Fiskers shortly thereafter, according to Autocar.
Al Gore could become worlds first carbon billionaire
Last year Mr Gores venture capital firm loaned a small California firm $75m to develop energy-saving technology.
The company, Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient.
The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants, the New York Times reports. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts.
The move means that venture capital company Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in coming years.
Former Secretary Colin Powell Named Strategic Limited Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
MENLO PARK, Calif. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers KPCB an innovator in providing venture and relationship capitalSM services to entrepreneurs announced former Secretary of State Colin Powell has become a KPCB strategic limited partner.
The Karma, which has been beleaguered by a series of production delays, will cost about $100,000. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio already got his Karma, while former Vice President Al Gore and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, both of whom are affiliated with Kleiner, are expected to take ownership of their Karmas in the coming days.
Fisker Automotive, based in Anaheim, was founded in 2007. Designed by Henrik Fisker, the four-passenger Karma is assembled in Finland, with production scheduled to move to a former GM factory in Wilmington, Del. The cars will be sold through a national network of high-end car dealers. Fisker says it plans initial production volume of 15,000 a year.
“The Karma is a high-end vehicle that could replace a regular car,” said Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com. “But the segment of the market that buys cars that cost $100,000 and above is very small.”
Lane said he expects Europe, where gas costs about $9 a gallon, to “smoke the United States” in terms of sales.
Kleiner has a vast cleantech portfolio, with transportation one of six cleantech sectors the firm invests in. Kleiner first invested in Fisker in January 2008, after looking at several business plans from electric-vehicle startups. Lane credited colleague Trae Vasallo with bringing Fisker to the firm’s attention.
“There’s no downside to a Fisker Karma except high price,” said Lane. “But there is a consumer segment that buys high-end cars, that spends $120,000 on a Porsche. We underpriced this car. We brought an electric vehicle to market at a price below its competition in the internal combustion engine.”
That car went to actor Leonardo di Caprio, who also is a Fisker investor