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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Mar 01 2012, 12:16 PM

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Following the Tesla ‘bricking’ story from last week, we reached out to Fisker to see if its cars are prone to becoming a useless block on four wheels. 

Roger Ormisher, director of Fisker global communications, told us that “the Karma’s battery only depletes to about 15% state of charge”

Similar to the Chevrolet Volt, the Karma uses a gas generator to help extend the vehicles electric range.

Tesla ran into some hot water when a customer left their Roadster discharged and unplugged for two months. When the customer tried to charge the car again, it wouldn’t take a charge. When the car was taken to Tesla for repairs, it was estimated to cost $40,000 to fix.

Fisker made sure to point out that its battery is “a different composition to that of Tesla’s meaning that it takes many months to fully discharge even if it is not plugged in.”

While that doesn’t mean the Karma is completely immune to ‘bricking’ it does offer some peace of mind to owners. We guess the Biebs can go on tour for a few months with his Karma unplugged, but we wouldn’t recommend it!

 |  Feb 24 2012, 6:45 PM

Following up on Tesla’s battery problems, we got a chance to talk to Toyota about the upcoming RAV4-EV.

Toyota has been working closely with Tesla in developing their electric crossover. We were curious to see if the issue that is now worrying owners of Tesla Roadsters will be a problem with Toyota’s vehicle as well.

Jana Hartline,  Toyota’s Environmental Communications Manager, told us “the powertrain system in our RAV4-EV will feature multiple safeguards designed to avoid full depletion of battery state-of-charge.” She didn’t comment further on what those safeguards are, but it may fall in line with what other EV manufacturers do.

The issue here stemmed from Tesla Roadster that was left with its battery fully depleted for two months. Afterwards the car could not accept a charge, and required a $40,000 repair.

While it’s good to hear that Toyota’s RAV4-EV has safeguards in place, the much larger issue is whether or not this is a fate that all electric vehicles can suffer.

 |  Feb 24 2012, 1:31 PM

Tesla has been weathering a storm of questions regarding its Tesla Roadsters ‘bricking’. Earlier today, the company posted an entry in its blog explaining the situation, and claiming that newer models can last significantly longer without being plugged in.

The blog post titled “Plug It In” reminds Tesla Roadster owners to plug in their vehicles when not in use. Additionally, the company says that newer Roadsters will have the option to “contact Tesla headquarters once the state of charge falls below a specified level, and we can then contact the owner.”

This is coming after a blogger noted that a fully discharged Tesla Roadster was left unplugged for two months. When the owner attempted to recharge the car after the two months, it wouldn’t work, and required a $40,000 repair.

Tesla finally noted that “Model S and Model X will have batteries that can sit unplugged for over a year when parked with only a 50 percent charge. And when that year is up, all you need to do is plug it in.” Meaning that negligent owners will have a longer grace period before their car’s batteries fail.

Despite Tesla’s claims and reminders about plugging in its vehicles, no where in the blog post does it explicitly say that Tesla vehicles cannot brick.