Tesla, Fisker Eschew Ads for Events, Websites

Neither carmaker has an advertising agency of record; both rely heavily on the press and their websites to attract buyers.

Published: 19-Jan-2009

DETROIT -- Although the glitz was dialed way down during the press days of this year's North American International Auto Show, the optimism about the future of electric plug-in cars was everywhere.

Automakers from Ford to China's BYD unveiled their EV cars at the show last week. Most of the models won't go on sale to consumers for another year or two, except for a pair of small companies already selling plug-in cars in the U.S.

The offerings from Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive aren't cheap. Tesla's roadster starts at $106,000, while the base price of Fisker's Karma four-seat sports sedan is $87,900. Unlike Tesla's pure-electric system, the Karma also has a gasoline engine that can propel the car beyond the 50-mile, emission-free range of the electric charge.
"Our goal was to create eco-friendly cars without compromising performance and style," said CEO Henrik Fisker.

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The company is working with a number of vehicle manufacturers on the development of batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles and expects more announcements like this one to come.

With seating up of four people who use all the large muscle groups, the car can easily cruise at speeds of up to 20 mph.

ZAP is hoping to keep the MSRP at $30,000 for the Alias three-wheeler pictured here.

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