Eco News: Fisker Atlantic Hybrid Concept Unveiled

Even though “going green” is a major trend right now, there isn’t a ton of choice for family-friendly hybrids available yet. Fisker Automotive is aiming to change that with a luxury hybrid sedan that is about to get a lot more affordable for families. Coming as one of the first announcements out of the 2012 New York Auto Show during a preview, Fisker Automotive unveiled its latest concept hybrid, the Atlantic. Similar to the company’s previous extended-range, hybrid model, the Karma, the Atlantic will hold many of the same characteristics but be much more affordable–down from the six digit range–and more family friendly.

The company’s co-founder and designer, Henrik Fisker, says the Atlantic is 90% into its development phase and will feature a more spacious interior and a higher roofline using the ridged “spider” structure for the roof. This design, along with the way the wheels are placed, allows for more room in the backseat and according to Fisker Automotive, still surpasses all rollover safety and crash-test requirements worldwide. The backseats can also fold down and it has a large trunk–amenities you rarely find with other hybrid and electric-powered sedans. The Atlantic will also feature the ability to switch from electric to gas power and offers the choice to travel long distances with an extended-range powertrain. Meaning, that for daily and shorter commutes, you can drive on your stored up electric power but when that’s used up, the gas power engine will kick in and allow you to keep driving. Little beyond that is known about the Atlantic’s powertrain for now except that it will reportedly power its generator with a four-cylinder gas engine from BMW. The Atlantic is also going to feature an all-wheel drive option, unlike the Karma which is rear-wheel.

Originally called Project Nina, the Atlantic was set to debut on the market next year, but with some major setbacks including failing batteries and frozen funds, Fisker Automotive is staying quiet on the actual price of the sedan (it’s been estimated in the the range of $50,000 to $60,000) and its release date. However, the company is dedicated to producing this hybrid sedan with the purpose of mass marketing it. They also reportedly have some other setbacks including no warehouse in which to build the concept, but are completely committed to building this car and getting it on the mass market.

If you want to wait until the Atlantic is available before buying switching to hybrid or if you aren’t quite ready to make the hybrid commitment, there are ways your family can still contribute to the green effort. One option, that will also help you get used to a hybrid sedan, is using hybrid rental cars when renting. With so many efforts to go green, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a company that rents out hybrids. You could also use public transportation if available and safe, or ride bikes to reduce your family’s carbon footprint.

About the Author

Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for eRentals, the best online car rental supplier with over 12,000 locations worldwide.