The electric car space is quickly becoming chock full of contenders from everyone from Tesla to Volkswagen to Hyundai, but the real challenge seems to be price. It’s not impossible, but very few can seem to get below the $40,000 threshold thanks to the cost of batteries. And Fisker – yes, that Fisker – thinks it can do it with the new Fisker Ocean.
But while the design might be production ready, actual production doesn’t appear to be anywhere near close.
Look at that Ocean go! Buzzing around beautiful alpine roads, quickly gaining speed until it passes a...Alfa Romeo Giulia? Okay, I guess.
What a long and strange trip it has been for Fisker. In 2013, the company entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allowed the company to reorganize rather than just throw its hands up and liquidate. The factory and tooling was bought by the Chinese company Wanxiang Group Corp, which shook off the Fisker name in 2016 to become its own company, named Karma, which is sort of confusingly named since there’s a company called Fisker which is no longer making the Karma, and a company called Karma that is making the former Fisker Karma but is now calling it the Karma Revero.
Since then, Karma has faced a whole host of challenges from trying to set up a dealer network, from issuing a stop sale on its famously crappy Fisker-based Reveros, to looking at the somehow already bloated electric truck market and saying “us too!”
Henrik Fisker, in the meantime, resigned shortly before the 2013 bankruptcy filing and somehow held on to the Fisker brand name. Fisker relaunched in 2016 and a year later, the company presented the Emotion concept with the Ocean announced in March of last year.
After all of that chaos, Fisker might just have a car on its hands with the Ocean. The company calls the Ocean a luxury vehicle, but with a starting price of $37,499 and with the $7,500 available tax credit, the Ocean is actually one of the more affordable EVs coming to market, putting it closer to the Hyundai Ioniq than say, a Tesla Model 3, in terms of pricing.
Fisker repeated its earlier claims that the Ocean is the most sustainable vehicle ever in the video and accompanying press release. The SUV features an all-vegan interior made from recycled from old t-shirts and plastics. The carpet is made from reclaimed fishing nets, a major hazard to wildlife in Earth’s regular, non-electric oceans. There’s also some fun features Fisker is working on, like a karaoke mode that projects the words of a song playing on the windshield, so you can torture your passengers to your hearts’ delight.
The Ocean also comes with solar panels on the roof which can provide up to 1,000 extra miles of range a year for those driving in the perfect conditions. While those might not help much in say, Seattle, the solar panels might just make come in handy in places like the American Southwest, and 1,000 miles spread out over 365 days is 2.7 miles per day.
So you’ll just have to plug it in.
The fast charging capability of the Ocean can bless the SUV with 200 miles of juice in just 30 minutes, with the company saying it will serve up a certain amount of miles of complimentary charging to customers, though details on how that will work are still not fully fleshed out. And while all but the base the Ocean’s will have all-wheel drive, the towing numbers are not yet available, though Fisker can say the engine puts out 300 horsepower, with a future ultra-performance version hitting 0-to-60 in three seconds.
But here’s how the Ocean stack up to Tesla’s offerings. The Model Y has an EPA estimated range of 315 miles and can charge 158 miles of range in 15 minutes. While the range is a hair more than the Ocean, car buyers would be looking at a hefty price tag of $39,000, since Tesla no longer qualifies for the EV tax credit. Buyers do, however, get the comfort of an extensive charging network while Fisker still doesn’t have a solid plan for charging its vehicles while on the go.
Production is projected for the last quarter of 2021, just as soon as the company decides on where to actually build the factory to build the cars and where to source the batteries. Those are two very big yet-unanswered questions for the zombie automaker. Oceanheads can pre-order the vehicle through Fisker’s App for $250. Fisker says folks from across the globe have already plunked down their ducats for the EV. Fisker’s press release says the company has two more models up its sleeve in the coming months, with the possibility of one million vehicles delivered.
There is, of course, a pretty big if in there. As we all know, making cars is hard, and Fisker already has a tumultuous past. Henrik Fisker seems devoted to bringing a mass appeal vehicle to market, and the brand’s previous financially difficulties may prove to be more of a sign of resilience than a dark cloud on the horizon. Now, let’s see them actually built the damn thing.