Fisker Karma Blamed for Home Fire


According to unofficial reports from the Fort Bend County Texas Fire Department, an unplugged Fisker Karma sedan had caused a fire in a home in the area resulting in about U.S.$100,000 structural damage costs.

The photos from the fire scene showed that the electric vehicle was almost consumed by the fire but the lithium ion battery pack remained intact. While the fire investigators have already identified the cause of the blaze, the investigation continues on the full extent of the fire.

According to Chief Fire Investigator Robert Baker, “Yes, the Karma was the origin of the fire but what exactly caused that, we don’t know at this time.” He further related that the driver arrived home riding the Fisker. He pulled into the garage and about three minutes later, the car was up in flames. The electric vehicle was not plugged in when the car was engulfed in flames, but the Karma battery remained intact. The owner related that right before the fire, there was a smell of burning rubber in the vehicle.

Baker further added, “The car was brand-new. He still had paper tags on it, so it was sixty days old at most.” It was later found that this particular Karma was a post-recall vehicle bought back in April.

The resulting damage to the garage was assessed as substantial, which spread to the second floor of the home. No injuries resulted from the incident and the home was apparently new, with the owner just moving into the residence. The damage was estimated at about U.S.$100,000, without the cost of the two other vehicles damaged in the garage which were a Mercedes Benz SUV and an Acura NSX.

The investigator quipped, “This looks just like golf cart fires we have down here.” He was referring to the extent of the fifty or so golf cart fires this suburban Houston area experiences annually.

He did observe that the fire scene was crawling with about fifteen engineers from the company finding the cause of the fire in the Karma.  The official statement of Fisker Automotive is as follows:

Last week, Fisker Automotive was made aware of a garage fire involving three vehicles, including a Karma sedan, that were parked at a newly-constructed residence in Sugar Land, Texas. There were no injuries.

There are conflicting reports and uncertainty surrounding this particular incident. The cause of the fire is not yet known and is being investigated.

We have not yet seen any written report form the Fort Bend fire department and believe that their investigation is continuing. As of now, multiple insurance investigators are involved, and we have not ruled out possible fraud or malicious intent. We are aware that fireworks were found in the garage in or around the vehicles. Also, an electrical panel located in the garage next to the vehicles is also being examined by the investigators as well as fire department officials. Based on initial observations and inspections, the Karma's lithium ion battery pack was not being charged at the time and is still intact and does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident.

Fisker will continue to participate fully in the investigation but will not be commenting further until all the facts are established.

Is this Karma or what?

New Jobs in the Electric Vehicle Market


With the increasing number of electric vehicles being built, offered, and sold throughout the world, new occupations are developing in the electric car market. Because of the multitude of possible jobs and responsibilities in the market, new positions and occupations are made available each day. As the electric car revolution trudges on, the following are the new positions that can help assist end users in the purchase of their car of the future.

Chemists. These individuals help in the investigation of properties, composition, matter structure and laws on how chemicals react to one another. In the electric car field, they are very helpful in the design and development of batteries. Together with engineers, they help in the innovation and improvement of current car designs and compositions to be able to create a more efficient and effective electric car design.  A specific kind of chemist is called a materials scientist where properties and structures of various materials used in electric cars would be studied to either improve them or find new ones.  To be able to be employed in the electric car industry it is necessary that one has a doctorate degree to develop new materials but even bachelor or masteral degrees would suffice.  One also has to be computer adept in order to be able to do data analysis, integration, computer modeling and testing.

Engineers. Because this is a building industry, it is important to have engineers on staff to assist in the development and creation of electric cars.  Many kinds of engineers would be needed as the industry further develops. Chemical engineers apply chemistry principles to improve equipment and materials as well as create processes to develop chemicals and products for the industry. Electrical engineers would manage the design, development, testing and manufacture of the electric vehicles electric and electronic components.  Their focus is the electrical circuitry that governs the engine processes of an electric or hybrid vehicle. Electronics engineers on the other hand are primarily responsible for control systems and other electronic components of the vehicle.  These engineers do not handle the electrical aspects of the vehicle. Industrial engineers on the other hand are those experts that improve efficiency as well as effectivity in the use of the basic factors of production in an electric car company.  Mechanical engineers develop the tools, engines, machines and other mechanical means to assist the production line in the building of electric cars. Computer engineers develop the computer programs to assist the company in the creation of electric cars. Each of these particular disciplines would enjoy good employment opportunities in electric car companies depending on the qualifications of the individual. The higher the degree, say doctorate degree as against masteral or bachelor degree, would command a greater wage and with it a higher responsibility in delivering the needed expertise in the particular engineering field.

Assemblers. Since the dawn of the automotive age, the assembly line is the lifeline of any carmaker. Now with electric cars, a new breed of assemblers is needed in the industry. These include electrical and electronics equipment assemblers, electromechanical equipment assemblers, machine assemblers, computer aided machine tool operators, production managers and other personnel essential to the proper functioning of the assembly line. Since many of these are technical jobs, having the proper certification or technical skills would be necessary to be qualified for employment in an electric car manufacturing company.