Henrik Fisker’s car, the EMotion, is named—I think—because it’s supposed to be an electric car that will move. And also will probably make you feel things. It’s Fisker’s first official stab at re-entering the market after the Fisker Karma, and his to-do list sounds oddly similar to another startup electric carmaker’s.
It seems the famed designer wants to move fully into the real of being an automotive tech mogul. Speaking to Top Gear’s Pat Devereux in an interview, Fisker revealed some interesting information regarding his plans for his new fledgling company.
Here’s what he and TG had to say about it:
Are you planning to sell the battery pack to other carmakers – or partner up at any level?
We are expecting to sell this battery technology, whether it’s the technology in its essence or as a complete pack to other car companies. But it’s not our main focus right now. That’s obviously to make vehicles.
However, we would like to partner up with a carmaker at some point, so we don’t have to necessarily develop every single little screw [for future models] ourselves. We then would have this battery to contribute, as well as a lot of other technology that we are developing for our first car.
No one has used a graphene battery in a car as of yet. Here, Fisker is not only talking about new battery tech, but also making lofty claims about it as well.
This is also similar to the Tesla-Panasonic-SolarCity partnership, where batteries aren’t just supplied to cars, but to homes as well. (In fact, Elon Musk just unveiled a new solar roof and updated Powerwalls.)
On Fisker’s sales approach:
What style and type of electric vehicles is [Fisker Inc.] going to produce?
Well, the first vehicle is definitely going to be technology-laden. It is not going to be cheap. It will probably be somewhere in the size and price range of our closest competitor. The second vehicle will be a very high volume and lower cost mass-market model where it is going to be all about efficiency and cost.
How much will the cars cost?
The first car’s price will be comparable with our closest competitors. The second car we are going to aim to be below the current competitors, the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt.
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s very similar to the path that Musk took when he expanded Tesla into the public eye. Musk highlighted a similar trajectory for the then-young Tesla Motors in his 2006 blog post, “The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me):”
Without giving away too much, I can say that the second model will be a sporty four door family car at roughly half the $89k price point of the Tesla Roadster and the third model will be even more affordable. In keeping with a fast growing technology company, all free cash flow is plowed back into R&D to drive down the costs and bring the follow on products to market as fast as possible. When someone buys the Tesla Roadster sports car, they are actually helping pay for development of the low cost family car.
The company’s first low volume, higher-priced car was the Tesla Roadster, which was sold at a little over $100,000 apiece. The mass-market model, the Model S, was where things started to ramp up a bit for Tesla (even though some are selling for around the same price as a Roadster these days), and the company hopes to make an absolute killing on the incoming Model 3.
On Tesla versus Fisker:
How will a Fisker be different from a Tesla?
We’re aiming to try to be more innovative in certain areas, probably a little more extreme and edgy. I think we’re going to go a little further with the futuristic styling, the packaging possibilities of the electric layout. We’re going to go a little further when it comes to introducing new ways of thinking about luxury, the user interface, thinking about how you either drive or are driven in the car.
Why would someone buy a Fisker over a Tesla?
The battery will be superior by far. And I think that’s probably the most important measurement of an electric car right now. And it’s not just the range, it’s also how long it’s going to last, how fast you can charge it. So with these three things we’re going to be way better than any electric car and way better than Tesla.
The second thing is we will have a more comfortable, more spacious interior. I won’t go into subjective things like which car looks best because that’s a customer decision. We’re going to strive to have an incredible user interface, something that really sets a new benchmark in the industry.
“The battery will be superior by far.” Fightin’ words from Henrik Fisker.
Making Fisker Inc. into a partial battery supplier? Making the EMotion the basis for a Tesla-disruptor? Making it more efficient than a Tesla? Making it edgier (okay, not sure what he means by this one)? Fully autonomous cars?
These are all very ambitious goals, sure. Like I’ve said before, disruption—despite being a gratingly overused term these days—is good. It drives innovation and competition and it can only serve us, the consumers, well. But at the same time, being able to create a good car well is a herculean task. It’s easy to sit down for an interview and speak about all of your ideas and plans. When it comes time to bring those ideas to fruition is where the challenge really arises.
Currently, we have no hard evidence that any of these things will happen. Yet, companies all have to start somewhere. Is Fisker up to it? We can only wait and see.