Fisker, founded and run by legendary automotive designer Henrik Fisker, has unveiled the production version of its Ocean EV SUV.
The Ocean is targeting over 350 miles of range from an all-wheel drive, dual motor setup pumping out 540 horsepower.
The base Ocean, called the Ocean Sport, that will use a smaller range battery (targeting around 250 miles of range), and a single-motor front wheel drive, will start — before any state and local incentives — at $37,499.
At that price level, no one so far, even Tesla, can match that price in the premium EV landscape.
Yahoo Finance spoke to Henrik Fisker at the LA auto show about how the company plans to make this pricing work.
Fisker is using large contract manufacturer Magna (MGA) to build its Ocean SUV. Magna makes cars and large components for clients like BMW (BMWYY), GM (GM), and even Ferrari (RACE).
In addition, one area that puts upward pressure on the price tags of EVs are batteries. Fisker is using CATL, the world’s largest battery manufacturer, to make a custom package for the Ocean, using cheaper LFP (lithium iron phosphate) battery cells for the Ocean Sport model, and more energy dense nickel manganese cobalt cells for the extended range 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.”
With 20,000 reservations in the order book right now, the company is seeing good interest in a car that won’t see the streets until the third quarter of 2022. But this is according to plan.
Fisker understands that production, versus prototyping, is hard. Tesla’s Elon Musk says this almost on a weekly basis. It’s in an extremely complicated process that requires proper systems, technical partners, and of course, capital, to get right.
The challenge for EV startups, Fisker says, is how to ramp up and produce several hundred thousand vehicles a year — and not take 10 years to do it.
This is where Fisker’s partner Magna comes into a play, with its capability to produce thousands of cars of year, coupled with new capital raises the Fisker has made this year ($1 billion through its SPAC IPO and $600 million in a debt offering), to invest in R&D and acquire know-how and parts from technical partners. It’s the only way startups can compete with the GMs and Fords (F) of the world.