Finance

Fisker unveils ‘world’s most sustainable vehicle’ as electric vehicle competition heats up

It seems that among the investor community, all everyone is talking about is EV (electric vehicle) stocks – and most importantly only – Tesla (TSLA), Rivian (RIVN), and Lucid (LCID).

One electric car company that has been flying under the radar, that is, until I had big news at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show is Fisker Inc (FSR).

Founded and run by legendary automobile designer Henrik Fisker, Fisker has unveiled a production version of its Ocean EV SUV.

Overall, it’s a competitive package, penned by Henrik himself, and in the top trim, the Ocean targets more than 350 miles of all-wheel drive, and a twin-engine setup that pumps out 540 horsepower.

While these numbers are noteworthy, there are other electric vehicles that can match those numbers in this price range (about $65,000 for the upper periphery). The real twist here is the Ocean Basic, called the Ocean Sport, which will use a smaller-range battery (targeting about 250 miles of range), and front-wheel drive with a single motor, which — before any state and local incentives — will start at $37,499.

At this price level, no one yet, not even Tesla, can match that price in the premium EV scene. Yahoo Finance spoke to Henrik Fisker at the Los Angeles Auto Show about how the company plans to make that pricing work.

“We have a full-asset light business model — a little bit like Apple (AAPL), Foxconn, if you want — in that we focus on product, marketing, design, development, and then outsource manufacturing to the company’s imposing stand in the conference room,” Fisker said from the company’s imposing stand in the conference room. We don’t have to put thousands of dollars [in] Every car because we have to keep the lights on at the factory, pay property taxes and whatever it is.”

Attendees watch the Fisker Ocean electric vehicle after its unveiling during AutoMobility LA ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 17, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP) (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Fisker is using big-contract manufacturer Magna (MGA) to build its Ocean SUV. Magna makes great cars and components for clients like BMW (BMWYY), GM (GM), and even Ferrari (RACE).

Additionally, batteries are one area that is putting upward pressure on electric vehicle price tags. Fisker is using CATL, the world’s largest battery manufacturer, to make a custom ocean package, using cheaper LFP (lithium iron phosphate) battery cells for the Ocean Sport model, and more energy-dense nickel-manganese cobalt cells to extend the ocean trim. levels.

On top of all that, Fisker wants this car to be the most sustainable car on the planet – hence the name “Ocean”.

“So the idea with this car is to make it the most sustainable car in the world, so we have a solar roof that can give you up to 1,500 miles for a year, and we have an all-vegetable interior with recycled materials,” he says. Even all the carpet is made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets from the ocean, the carbon fiber elements in the car and the wheels are, you guessed it, recycled.

With 20,000 reservations in the order book right now, the company sees good interest in a car that won’t see the streets until the third quarter of 2022. But that’s according to plan.

Fisker understands that production, versus prototyping, is difficult. Elon Musk of Tesla says this almost weekly. It’s a very complex process that requires the right systems, technical partners, and of course capital, to get it right.

The challenge for electric car startups, Fisker says, is how to ramp up and produce several hundred thousand vehicles a year — and not take 10 years. This is where Magna, Fisker’s partner, comes into play, with its ability to produce thousands of cars a year, along with new capital increases that Fisker has made this year ($1 billion through SPAC’s IPO and $600 million in debt offering). ), investing in research and development and sourcing know-how and parts from technical partners. It’s the only way startups can compete with the world’s GMs and Fords (F).

“A car is made of about 1,500 parts or more, depending on how many screws you count, and all of those parts have to come at the right time. They have to be assembled together at exactly the right time in the right sequence,” Fisker says. “I think most electric car startups underestimate that. The traditional auto industry has taken many decades to perfect this, and that’s what they’re really good at.”

——

Bras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. you can follow it Twitter and on Instagram.

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