Fisker Automotive Inc., a builder of luxury plug-in hybrids, will launch a sedan car in 2012 that will sell for $39,000, Reuters reports.

The privately held startup would likely refurbish a factory in the United States to build the vehicle and is aiming to produce 100,000 of the lower-cost plug-in hybrids, Ray Lane, managing partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers told Reuters. Kleiner Perkins is a major investor.

With battery technology predicted to make electric cars the environmentally friendly transportation of the future, a wave of new companies has expanded into the auto industry, including Fisker and Tesla in California.

Both have started out with luxury models but are expanding into more affordable, but not mainstream, models. The lower cost Fisker cars would be equipped with batteries that cost around $12,000 to $15,000, says Lane. Fisker will not likely launch a cheaper car.

Fisker is preparing now for the production launch of its first vehicle, a four-door luxury sedan called the Karma that has a starting price of $87,900. The vehicle will be built in Finland by Valmet Automotive.

The Karma will have a 50-mile range on its battery and a total range of 300 when its gasoline engine kicks in, for an average fuel economy of 100 miles per gallon for those who commute less than 50 miles a day, according to Fisker's Web site.

The name of the new lower cost car has yet to be released, but Lane says it would be a four-seater and could be produced in a retooled car factory.

The automaker is currently working with lithium-ion battery makers U.S.-based Ener1 Inc's (HEV.O) EnerDel and Canadian company Advanced Lithium Power on its Karma, reports Reuters.