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Electric Dreams

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Last Friday I had the privilege to visit Valmet Automotive factory, together with mayor Kari Koski of Uusikaupunki. What comes to cars, during the last 22 years I’ve owned six of them, with only one of them built elsewhere than in that specific factory. (All Saabs, latest made in Trollhättan, Sweden)

Valmet Automotive has every reason to be proud of their latest deliverable. Apart from many concept cars, the Fisker Karma is the real deal, with electric-only driveshaft and a GM Saab-derived gasoline turbo engine charging the lithium-ion batteries on demand and providing extra oomph for the electric motor. This may sound simple, but it is also the cutting edge software packed in the car that makes it unique.

The primary control interface – a large touch screen interface – still requires a few bug fixes, but engine and steering controls seemed like production quality already. I really liked the massive torque immediately available to the rear wheels, combined very smoothly with advanced traction control. Another nice feature borrowed from 90’s Saab is the solar panel covering the whole roof of the car, cooling it when parked and when possible, also charging the main battery bank.

It is quite a feat from Fisker to get this project from the drawing board to the parking lot of Valmet factory this fast. In order to maintain this pace also with future models, I wish that Fisker grasps the potential of using cloud computing from the start – updating in-car software in real time and receiving continuous performance data from all cars, to be immediately available for their R&D. We’ll see.

I want one!

//Pasi

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