Fisker Automotive won a round in its legal fight with Tesla Motors, as a judge in San Mateo (Calif.) Superior Court on June 11 granted Fisker's motion to stay Tesla's suit against Fisker, and send the case to arbitration.
Tesla Motors sued Fisker on April 14. Tesla says that it hired Fisker to help design an electric car for Tesla, but charged that Fisker used some of the same ideas for one of its own cars. Fisker denies that its car owes anything to the work it did for Tesla.
Meanwhile, Tesla says it started production of its battery-powered Roadster on March 17. The company says it has over 900 orders. According to the Tesla web site, someone who reserves a car now should expect delivery in 12 months.
The Tesla car the two companies are fighting over is a plug-in hybrid sedan, to be introduced after the battery-powered Tesla Roadster. Fisker unveiled a plug-in hybrid sports car called the Karma at the Detroit auto show in January 2008. A plug-in hybrid can be recharged at home or in a parking garage. That gives it a greater range on battery power than today's hybrids, which are recharged by the onboard gasoline engine.