Designer-cum-entrepreneur Henrik Fisker was a pioneer in the battery-car space, though his original effort didn’t fare well. He’s back with a new company, a new, all-electric model, and a plan to “disrupt the automotive industry.”
- The Fisker Ocean is a Chevy Equinox-sized, all-electric SUV.
- It will be offered in several configurations, a base model expected to get 300 miles range.
- The base model is expected to come in around $30,000, factoring in federal tax credits.
Henrik Fisker tried to take on Tesla once before, his original Fisker Automotive bringing out a sleek, plug-in hybrid sports coupe early in the last decade. But the company quickly short-circuited, its assets sold off in bankruptcy to a Chinese company. Now, he’s set to try again, and this time, Fisker, Inc. is focusing on an all-electric SUV that will go head-to-head with the Tesla Model Y.
The Fisker Ocean debuted at CES in January, and was scheduled to make a public appearance at the Geneva Motor Show this week. With that event cancelled, Fisker staged its own reveal, offering up new running footage and plenty of details covering everything from charging to pricing, as well as some basic specs.
An ultra-high-performance package will be announced formally next year. (Photo: Fisker)
To start with, Ocean measures 182 inches long, 76 inches wide and 64 inches tall – in line with the popular Chevrolet Equinox.
But by moving the drivetrain and batteries below the load floor, some space where you’d normally have an engine compartment is repurposed for additional cabin roominess. The Ocean seats five, and even with the seats filled there’s up to 25 cubic feet of cargo capacity.
Where the Fisker Karma was sleek and sinuous, the Ocean is more blunt, but it retains some of the long-time sports car designer’s flourishes, like the slit headlamps and somewhat coupe-like roofline. Meanwhile, all of Ocean’s windows can open, even on the tailgate, with a push of a single button, something Fisker calls “California mode.”
Inside, classic materials like leather and wood are out, Ocean getting more sustainable fabrics and other materials. The look is luxurious but minimalist, with most vehicle functions handled through the vertical 16-inch touch screen. There’s a 9.8-inch digital cluster, as well.
The Fisker Ocean opts for a minimalist interior with an emphasis on sustainable materials. (Photo: FIsker)
The start-up claims safety is a top priority. That includes not only active technology like forward collision warning and auto-braking but a passive side-crash beam system.
Fisker promises Ocean will boast off-road and towing capabilities but has yet to release hard details. It did note that while the base model will use a single motor on the rear axle, all other versions will have motors on each axle and all-wheel-drive capabilities. The twin motors will punch out 225 kilowatts or 302 horsepower.
Fisker also plans to add an “ultra-high-performance model.” We won’t hear details until next year but he’s promised that model will hit 60 mph in less than three seconds, which would put it in good stead against the likes of the Tesla Model Y with Ludicrous Mode.
Long-time designer Henrik Fisker first tried his hand as an entrepreneur with Fisker Automotive and the Karma plug-in hybrid. (Photo: Paul A. Eisenstein/TheDetroitBureau.com)
Comparisons to Tesla are likely to continue for the Fisker Ocean. There’s range, expected to be about 300 miles. We’ll have to see whether the EPA concurs, but that would be a significant figure using an 80 kilowatt-hour battery. Charging to 80 percent will take about 30 minutes on a 15-kW public charger.
As for price, the base model starts at $37,499, a buck under $30,000 after factoring in the federal $7,500 tax credit. And that’s a clear advantage for Fisker since Tesla’s incentives completely vanished as of January 1 of this year. Buyers also will be able to opt for a $379-a-month open-ended lease.
The start-up is already taking refundable, $250 deposits but deliveries of the Fisker Ocean aren’t set to begin until late 2021.
WHY THIS MATTERS
One-time Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker is taking a second run at Tesla with his new company and an all-electric SUV. Preliminary specs – and a look at the design – suggest the Fisker Ocean could be a viable contender.