Battery-car pioneer Henrik Fisker is ready to give it another try, the one-time Aston Martin designer offering up a first full look at the new electric SUV that will make its formal debut later this month.
The Fisker Ocean is being billed as “the world’s most sustainable vehicle,” relying on recycled materials for its carpets and vegan compounds in lieu of leather. There’s even a solar roof to help keep its battery charged. What may prove particularly appealing to potential customers, however, is the flexible lease with no fixed contract. A mobile app can be used to handle most of the purchase process.
“For the past two years, we have been working quietly on an emotionally appealing and affordable luxury electric vehicle that will serve as a flagship for driving positive global change,” said the eponymous start-up’s founder, chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker.
”Driving the Fisker Ocean will be easy: through a flexible lease via a mobile app,” added Fisker, who started out as a designer of such products as the iconic Aston Martin DB9. “And we take care of all the service and maintenance. Simply put, we’re introducing the future of hassle-free, fun and easy e-mobility.”
If the Fisker name sounds familiar, it’s likely not only because of his work as a designer but through his original effort to get into the battery-car space. In 2011, he introduced the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid. But hile hailed for its striking styling, the sports-sedan ran into a series of technical and quality problems – as did the company, Fisker Automotive, which filed for bankruptcy just a couple years later.
(Fisker Automotive’s assets, including the four-seat PHEV were subsequently acquired by Wanxiang Group. The revived company is now known as Karma and the car itself has been renamed Revero.)
This time around, the Fisker Ocean is going fully electric. When he first announced plans to get back in the EV business Henrik Fisker indicated plans called for the use of a breakthrough ultracapacitor to extend range and boost performance. In the end, he was forced to fall back to more conventional lithium-ion technology.
The Ocean will carry an 80 kilowatt-hour pack, larger than some new products — though about 20 kWh smaller than what’s offered in the long-range Tesla Model 3, and which is expected to be available once the Model Y SUV comes to market next year.
Fisker says the “target” range is 250 to 300 miles per charge, though final EPA numbers are not yet available. No performance, and few technical, numbers have been announced, but there are twin electric motors, one on each axle – which is becoming the norm these days, especially in the premium EV space.
To offer a little perspective, the Fisker Ocean will be similar in size to the Chevrolet Equinox.
As one might expect from a Henrik Fisker vehicle, he’s put a lot of work into the SUV’s design. It features muscular wheel arches and an aggressive grille – a sharp contrast to Tesla’s essentially grille-less designs. Slit-like headlamps flow into a short hood. Along the lines of the Jaguar I-Pace, the Ocean appears to have reclaimed space normally devoted to an engine compartment, repurposing it for passengers and cargo.
Even in his first foray into the electrified vehicle market, Fisker has tried to put a premium on using sustainable cabin materials. The old Fisker Karma, among other things, used reclaimed wood for its cabin accents.
With the Ocean, Fisker has opted for carpeting made, it claims, from recycled nylon, and Dinamica, a suede-like material produced from recycled bottles and other plastics.
The SUV, meanwhile, is fitted with a full-length solar roof which can deliver as much as 1,000 miles of energy per year.
For those interested in buying the Fisker Ocean, they’ll be able to see and hear more when it makes its formal debut on November 27. Production is scheduled to begin late next year, according to a company statement which also notes, “the first high-volume deliveries (are) projected for 2022.”
We’ll have to wait for more details on the sales process, as well, though it appears much of the work will be addressable using a new app. Because of various state franchise laws, dealers likely will be needed in most of the country, though how many are lined up – and whether they will be company-owned or independent franchisees – has not been revealed.
The new automaker appears to be going with a subscription-style model, with most of the cost of ownership, including maintenance and repairs included. It is unclear if insurance and other fees also will be factored in. More on that, we anticipate, on November 27.
(Tesla debuts the Model Y SUV. Click Here to check it out.)