Fisker Inc., the company Henrik Fisker started after the failure of the former Fisker Automotive, has announced that it plans to build “an affordable SUV powered by an enhanced +80 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that pushes the limit – with a range of close to 300 miles.”
Fisker’s ESUV will be available in a four-wheel drive version with front and rear motors, and will feature “a large heads-up display” as well as “an extended open-air atmosphere” (a convertible top or retractable roof?) available at “the touch of a button.”
Fisker is shooting for a base price below $40,000, and plans to reveal final pricing and a drivable prototype by the end of 2019. The company hopes to bring the new EV to market by the second half of 2021. Fisker will sell directly to consumers, and will begin accepting deposits closer to the start of production.
Fisker says it is currently finalizing the selection of a US facility to produce the vehicle. The company also plans to produce two more “mass-market” EVs. The previously announced Fisker EMotion luxury saloon “will now be introduced to the market after an affordable model becomes available.”
On the face of it, this is great news – the Karma, produced by the previous incarnation of the company, was a splendid vehicle by all accounts, and the market is sorely in need of more electric SUV options. However, there are reasons for skepticism.
Electrek’s Fred Lambert points out that the company has only shown one rendering of the vehicle, which seems out of character for an automotive design star like Henkrik Fisker. Was this announcement cobbled together quickly to capitalize on the wave of publicity around Tesla’s Model Y?
It also sounds like Fisker is biting off a mighty big mouthful for a young startup company that doesn’t yet have a factory up and running. Can the company really deliver a high-volume SUV at a $40,000 price tag (something that much older and larger Tesla is struggling to do, and that the established automakers haven’t even attempted), plus two other vehicles, in two years?
CEO Henrik Fisker obviously thinks he can do it, and we’re rooting for him. “Our team set out on a mission to create an affordable electric vehicle that’s more exciting and emotion-stirring than what the market has been offering,” said he. “At an affordable price point, starting below $40,000, we’re delivering a desirable, luxuriously rugged and green vehicle – complete with unique new experiences and technologies – that’s accessible to people across the USA and the world.”