Fisker Ocean Electric SUV

Fisker has released images of its all-new Ocean SUV in production form. It’s the first in a series of three electric vehicles from the company. Ocean production is scheduled to begin at the end of 2021, with deliveries expected in 2022. 

The company is launching a mobile app Nov. 27, 2019, that can be used to place early reservations. Pricing and further details will be announced then. The company previously announced it is targeting a $40,000 base price. 

What it competes with: Jaguar I-Pace, Polestar 2, Tesla Model Y
Powertrain: Dual-motor electric, one-speed direct transmission; rear- or all-wheel drive
Starting price: $40,000
On-sale date: 2022

Fisker Ocean Electric SUV solar roof

Outside

Styling is a key facet for Fisker vehicles because the company’s  founder, Henrik Fisker, is a renowned designer who built his reputation by creating cars for Aston Martin and BMW. He later started his own company, Fisker Coachbuild, to create rebodied luxury cars.

More recently, Henrik ran Fisker Automotive, a company that produced the Fisker Karma, an electric-powered luxury sedan with an engine to extend its range. Fisker Automotive eventually went bankrupt, and its assets were purchased by a Chinese company that has continued the Karma under the brand name Revero.

The new Fisker company says it is creating a range of models that combine electric mobility with stylistic flair.

Official production images reveal only certain angles. We don’t know yet what it looks like in profile or inside. The grille has a carbon-fiber-like appearance. The company says it can direct air as needed for cooling, which suggests an active grille system. The shape evokes both the Aston Martin grille and the Joker-like grin of the Karma.

The top view reveals a full-length solar roof. The company says the interior uses a wide range of environmentally conscious materials, such as carpet made from recycled waste from the oceans, recycled rubber, and vegan-friendly materials.

What Drives It

The electric SUV will be available in all-wheel drive using two motors, one up front and the other at the rear. The energy will be stored in a lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of at least 80 kilowatt-hours.

Fisker claims that the range will be 250 to 300 miles, depending on driving conditions. This is similar to the Tesla Model Y, which is likely to be the Fisker SUV’s direct rival.

Fisker Ocean Electric SUV rear

CR’s Take

Tesla has inspired a wave of electric rivals from established automakers and all-new companies. Competition will be fierce by 2022, when the Ocean is expected to be available. Fisker has a challenge ahead, as the company knows from its difficulties in gaining traction through its past incarnations. 

At CR, we had a troubled experience with our own Karma test car in 2012.

As we wrote then: “There are bigger issues here, compromises inherent in the car’s basic design and execution. The Karma falls short with: poor dash controls, limited visibility, a cramped interior, awkward access into and out of the seats, an engine that is noisy when running, long battery recharge times, and a small backseat and trunk. The Karma’s heavy, SUV-like weight affects agility and performance, and the Karma lacks the oomph you would expect. Expectations are high with a car that retails for more than $100,000. And this car fell well short.”

But this is a different company with different technology. And this model is a decade newer. 

Still, many questions remain, including: Will this model even make it to production? This is a fair question, as it is for upscale EV startups such as Faraday Future, Lucid Motors, and Rivian.

The Ocean will be built in the U.S. and sold globally. The location of the production site will be announced in the future, a Fisker spokesperson told CR via email.

Henrik Fisker has said sales will be direct from the company and service will be handled through franchise outlets. Even when the logistics have been worked out, competition will be tough because most major automakers are preparing new EV offerings. Those companies have factories, stores, and service centers already in place, and they have deep pockets.

Fisker says it has a price edge compared with the Model Y, stating that its SUV will start below $40,000. When asked about the SUV, Fisker would not provide further details, including whether that price factors in the federal tax credit and potential gas savings, compared against a conventional model—both strategies Tesla has used.

The Tesla Model Y deliveries are expected to begin in fall 2020, according to the Tesla website. Prices range from $48,000 to $61,000 for the Long Range and Performance version. A Standard Range model will be available for $39,000 in early 2021.

Will Fisker have the product and cachet to take a slice of the market from Tesla? Time will tell.

Fisker EMotion
Fisker EMotion

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