The vital stats of Fisker Ocean were announced by its eponymous founder, Henrik Fisker, at the LA Auto Show this morning, and if it lives up to his lofty claims it could prove a hugely attractive option for those motorists who want an EV, but don’t want to spend $50,000 on one. The cheapest of the three trim options will start at $37,999. With incentives that could be reduced to a little over $30,000. That’s great news for consumers, but less so for the king of the EV market: Tesla.
Fisker’s taken 19,000 reservations for the Ocean, and says it's on course to deliver the first vehicles to buyers in November 2022. Impressively, that’s not only in keeping with the company’s original timelines, but seemingly hasn’t been affected by the ongoing global semiconductor shortage. Compared to Tesla’s pre-order or production numbers (or Ford, VW, BMW, or any of the legacy carmakers) that’s puny, but it’s a start.
Unlike conventional automakers, Fisker outsources pretty much every aspect of manufacturing. It does the same for after-sales service, relying on a network of partners rather than its own dealerships. In fact, it has no dealerships, selling direct to consumers instead. Fisker says this allows the company to be “extremely lean.”
At launch, buyers will have access to “thousands of service places,” according to Fisker, and the company will create “experience centers” to introduce would-be owners to the car, the first of which will open in Los Angeles in mid-2022.
Sustainability and sass — Fisker’s key propositions (aside from pricing) are sustainability and high-end design. Much of the vehicle is made from recycled materials including bottles, fishing nets, and even T-shirts. While the skateboard-like platform is primarily aluminum, the upper body is steel, which Fisker says allows for easier repairs and negates the need for specialist body shops.
On the design front, the top trip model — dubbed the Fisker Ocean Extreme — will include a solar roof capable of providing between 1,500 and 2,000 miles of range (in ideal, California-like sunny conditions). The cheapest “Sport” variant, meanwhile, will offer up to 340 miles of range (the only car priced under $50,000 to do so), and all three models include a rotating center touch display that can shift from portrait to landscape orientation depending on what it’s being used for.
There’s also the cute, if a little gimmicky, “California Mode” where all the windows open and the roof retracts, including a pair of three-quarter windows behind the C-pillar which Fisker calls the “doggie windows.” We expect you’ll only see California Mode on the top-spec models, or that I’ll be an optional extra for them.
Spec fest — The entry-level Sport will use an LFT batter from CATL, the world’s largest battery manufacturer), while the mid-range Ultra and top-end Extreme models will use NMC batteries. The Sport will be FWD and have a single motor, while the fancier models will both have dual-motor AWD. Power output on the Sport will be 275 HP, while the Ultra and Extreme get a massive 540 HP and 550 HP respectively. That means the fastest model will do 0-60mph in about 3.6 seconds.
Low-commitment leasing — Fisker says ensuring low cost of ownership and durability are also key aspects of its sustainability goals. To this end, from 2023 it’ll offer leasing from $379 a month (with up to 30,000 miles a year) with no minimum lease length. After 12 years of service, it will fully recycle leased vehicles, and it aims to build a fully CO2-neutral vehicle by 2027.
Henrik Fisker says the company plans to build at least 40,000 vehicles in 2023 and that it hopes to be sold out for that first year. If the Fisker Ocean lives up to its bold claims and is as fun to drive as it is to look at, there’s no reason it shouldn’t sell out.