Henrik Fisker, the man who designed the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9, has flirted with building electric cars before. His first company, Fisker Automotive, offered customers a plug-in hybrid mishmash called the Karma that featured a battery, an electric motor, and a 4-cylinder gasoline engine sourced from General Motors. That car was wicked cool when it first appeared in 2012, but its electronic features were glitchy and its electric powertrain prone to a myriad of problems. Sales were slow, buyers were unhappy, and the company went bankrupt in 2013.
He incorporated Fisker, Inc. in 2016 with a promise to bring an all new electric car called the EMotion to market. That car supposedly will feature a solid state battery capable of rapid recharging, twice as many charging cycles as a conventional lithium-ion battery, and 400 miles of range. Styling is always a key element in Fisker’s plans and the EMotion featured something no other car ever has — 4 gullwing doors for unprecedented access to the interior.
That car is now being pushed back until 2021 or later as the company waits for its solid state battery to materialize. In the meantime, a press release from the company on March 18 says the company will begin offering an electric SUV with an 80 kWh battery before the end of 2021. The company claims the as yet unnamed car will have a range of nearly 300 miles and sell for under $40,000. Dual motor versions will be offered as well. If it can build a boxy SUV with such a small battery that can go 300 miles on a single charge, that will be a remarkable achievement.
The company says its electric SUV will be an “affordable mass market vehicle features captivating design touches that have been traditionally reserved for supercars in the past.” Henrik Fisker has created a futuristic, elegant muscular EV with clean surfaces and a dramatic shape that will also allow passengers to experience an “extended open-air atmosphere” at the “touch of a button,” the company says. A spokesperson tells The Verge that doesn’t mean the car will be a convertible, however. No further information about the car is available to further explain this rather enigmatic statement.
The company says the car will have generous interior dimensions and that a prototype will be revealed before the end of 2019. It will be sold direct to customers using a “nationwide concierge service model” that will provide a “superior user and maintenance experience.”
The electric SUV will be the first of three all new mass market vehicles from Fisker, Inc. The company is actively engaged in the development of a larger line-up of affordable, luxurious, and technologically advanced electric vehicles — with the SUV launching first. “The previously unveiled Fisker EMotion luxury electric sedan, the brand’s low-volume flagship model, will now be introduced to the market after an affordable model becomes available. As the ultimate symbol of future emerging technologies, the high-end EMotion will retake the stage as patented Fisker Solid State Battery technology becomes ready for vehicle application and commercialization.”
Here’s the kicker. “Fisker Inc. is currently finalizing the selection of a facility located in the United States to produce the all-electric SUV,” the company says. One hesitates to be unkind to any company planning to help move the electric car revolution forward, but there are currently more electric car startups without factories than those who have actual production facilities. Will new cars from Fisker, Inc. ever see the light of day? “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.