A lapsed electric vehicle pioneer is back, and potentially in a big way. Henrik Fisker, whose eponymous electric car the Fisker Karma range-extender (pictured) sedan made waves a few years ago, has announced a decision to relaunch.
Fisker Inc. has announced the brand rebirth will kick off with the development of a mystery all-electric premium vehicle featuring battery technology claimed to deliver a longer driving range than any existing EV. It will then roll out a suite of mainstream products that cost less but go further than rivals, it claims.
Slated to appear globally in the second half of 2017, the relaunched Fisker Inc. will “create electric vehicles that break the mould of what’s currently available”, the company claims.
Pictured: Henrik Fisker with the Karma
Considering Silicon Valley nemesis Tesla is rolling out mainstream models (the Model X and Model 3), and the fact that Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors and others are on the hustings promising huge things, this is a seriously big call.
The ace up Fisker’s sleeve? The vehicle will feature a patented battery that the company claims “will deliver a significantly longer life and range than any battery currently on the market”.
Fisker Nanotech, the battery arm of Fisker Inc., will pioneer the development of these “game-changing” batteries. These batteries will have a new type of battery chemistry, the company promises, designed to boost power and add life, while cutting weight and reducing packaging.
“Fisker Inc. will spearhead a revolution in electric cars that will disrupt the electric vehicle market and change the world, said Henrik Fisker, who serves as chairman and CEO.
“Both the technology and the market are more mature now than when we first started out as pioneers in the electric vehicle industry, and our new vehicle will be the most innovative and cutting-edge electric car ever created.”
Details are obviously scarce at this stage, though we’re told that Fisker Inc.’s debut vehicle will include “dynamic, never-before-seen design features”, combining advanced materials with the use of the latest software.
The first car (body type unknown, though bet on crossover SUV) will have more rear legroom and headroom than any of its closest competitors, the company claims.
Fisker also says it’s developing a mass-market, affordable electric vehicle that will retail for less than its competitors, but will feature a longer electric range.
Background: Fisker is California-based. The Fisker Karma hit the scene in 2007 (luring buyers such as Leo Di Caprio), and in 2012 the company had 600 staff and had raised more than $1 billion in capital. More than 2000 were sold.
On the heels of its battery supplier filing for bankruptcy after two battery recalls, Fisker Automotive Inc. filed for bankruptcy in November 2013. Its assets, excluding the Fisker brand, were subsequently sold in a structured bankruptcy auction to China-based Wanxiang Group in February 2014.
Fisker Inc. has no affiliation with Wanxiang, Wanxiang’s subsidiary Karma Automotive, or the Karma Revero, the remake of the original Fisker Karma.
Previously, Henrik Fisker was design director and board member at Aston Martin (he signed off on the DB9 and V8 Vantage), and was a senior executive at Ford. He also worked for BMW, where he designed the Z8.
Pictured: VLF Force 1 V10
Paradoxically, in January 2016 Fisker co-founded VLF Automotive, an American luxury sports car manufacturer based in Auburn Hills, Michigan that focuses on low volume, specialty cars, with Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villarreal.
Fisker is head of design and product strategy at VLF, which currently has three models: the VLF Destino V8 (a repackaged Karma), VLF Force 1 V10 (pictured above) and VLF Rocket. Read our interview with him from Detroit earlier this year.
What do you think of the idea of a reborn Fisker? Should Elon Musk be quaking in his boots? We’ll be seeking a follow-up interview with Mr Fisker soon, stay tuned…