Green Supercar Smackdown: Tesla Suing Fisker, Claiming Sabotage

Tesla says the founder of rival Fisker Coachbuild stole confidential information in order to build a competing vehicle.

Fisker Karma

Fisker Coachbuild's $80,000 electric luxury car, the Karma.Seth Fletcher

High drama in the electric car world: According to the New York Times, electric sports-car manufacturer Tesla is suing Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler of Fisker Coachbuild, charging that Fisker "fraudulently" signed on to design Tesla's "White Star" sedan, sabotaged the sedan project by doing substandard work, then stole confidential information and went on to build a competing car—the Fisker Karma.

Fisker unveiled the $80,000 Karma, which it has said will go on sale in late 2009, this January at the Detroit Auto Show. Tesla just recently started selling its two-seat roadster in the U.S.; its four-door electric car, which Fisker was working on under an $875,000 contract with Tesla, is set to go on sale in 2010. Tesla claims Fisker's substandard work on the design set the sedan back three to six months. Adam C. Belsky, a lawyer representing Tesla told the Times: "I think it's ironic that Fisker chose to name his car the Karma, when what he's done is very bad karma." (Zing?)

For more, click here for our profile of Tesla engineer JB Straubel. Then bet on Tesla's prospects on the PPX [here.