By on October 31, 2019

Fisker recently announced plans to debut the first of three affordable electric vehicles it wants to sell. The model, which founder Henrik Fisker said would be an SUV named Ocean, is scheduled to land on the North American market in 2021. “More info” is coming on November 27th and a near-production prototype is supposed to manifest in January.

The EV was originally supposed to appear in December, making this a modest delay. Normally we wouldn’t bat an eyelash at such a meager postponement, but Fisker has a poor track record for delivering on its promises.

Back when the company was still Fisker Automotive, it was building the Karma. Unfortunately, luxury plug-in hybrid didn’t sell and was plagued with quality issues. This author only recalls seeing one Karma outside of automotive trade shows, parked clumsily at a Massachusetts golf corse during the 2014 PGA Tour. While there were plans for the company to eventually build the more-practical Atlantic with help from BMW, things did not pan out. 

Image: Fisker Inc

The business declared bankruptcy in 2013 and failed to repay millions in American taxpayer loans, forcing it to sell everything to Wanxiang America Corp — an Illinois-based subsidiary of China’s mightiest auto parts conglomerate. There were rumors that the Asian company would relaunch production of the Karma and Atlantic, possibly in the United States, but Wanxiang has been noncommittal while the remaining aspects of the bankruptcy sale are being settled.

Having returned as Fisker Inc, the auto startup is now focused on more market-friendly EVs. But it’s still making huge claims. The biggest is a supposed solid-state battery breakthrough that will produce electric vehicles with 500 miles if range and 1-minute charging times. Earth-shattering news we’ve heard little about since 2018.

Fisker’s EMotion prototype debuted last year, with promises of a 400 mile electric range and heaps of luxury. But it’s sitting on a $130,000 (estimated) MSRP, encouraging the company to look downmarket for more customers. The Ocean is supposed to start at $40K, incorporating loads of recycled materials inside to help promote its green image. Fisker is calling it “the world’s most sustainable vehicle.”

While Fisker has started issuing terribly-cropped teasers of the Ocean’s exterior design, precious little has been shared about what will be powering it. All we know is that it will be electric, use lots of recycled materials (maybe even for the tires), and be available exclusively through flexible leases with “no longterm commitments.”

That is, if the Ocean ends up being built. We think the brand still lacks credibility. If that solid-state battery turns out to be legitimate, then its troubles are over. Every manufacturer in the industry will want to buy that technology, as it effectively nullifies the weakest aspects of EVs. But we haven’t seen it yet. What we have seen is Fisker parading a bunch of concept vehicles before anything is even on the market. Without a production-ready model, it just kind of feels like the startup is just playing around.

[Images: Fisker Inc.]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

39 Comments on “Fisker Ocean Arrives in 2021, Starts Around $40,000...”


  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    The Surf was a beautiful idea. This should use biodegradable Vytex based tires to keep true to it’s claims.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “Ocean” refers to (choose one):
    – The limitless reserves of range and power
    – The environment this vehicle will actively protect
    – The plankton-eating grille

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      The original “Ocean” caper movie, which was so awful it too was never produced.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Plankton for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      packardhell1

      The whoosh you hear due to the lack of an ICE engine. Who doesn’t like holding a seashell to their ear?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        That’s gonna change. CA is forcing legislation mandating that EVs make noise. Bleating goats, howling dogs and cooing doves have already been suggested by commenters.

        • 0 avatar
          dukeisduke

          Sam Kinison (RIP) screaming, “Get the hell off the road!”

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          “forcing legislation mandating that EVs make noise”

          Only at low speeds.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Has it been determined yet how high/low a speed, and how many decibels above ambient noise?

            Some intersections I’ve been through have noise levels over 110db, which means the EV would have to be at least at 113db, 3db over and above ambient noise level, and at an irritating frequency, to get people’s attention.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @highdesertcat: You’ve got a very good point there. My EV, which has the sound device, definitely isn’t loud enough. To make matters worse, in the place where it’s needed the most, the underground garage at work, the sound is similar to the ventilation fans.

            Then there’s this from a Norwegian study:

            “The most interesting statistic was that a majority (87%) of those without AVAS had never experienced any dangerous situations, compared to 75% of those who have AVAS. This may indicate that AVAS, as it is designed today, do not have any major influence on the safety situation for pedestrians/bicyclists. This is the main reason a test programme on adaptive AVAS was designed.”

            https://www.governmenteuropa.eu/adaptive-avas-electric-vehicle-safety/91652/

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Thank you, mcs.

            If I’m fortunate enough to buy a Rivian truck in the future, I had planned on mounting one of those continuously blowing multi-toned circus horns in it so people could hear me coming in crowded surroundings.

            I kid you not.

            Drawback is, it requires manual activation/deactivation.

          • 0 avatar
            SSJeep

            The legislation would hardly matter – leave it to California to come up with more nonsense. Everyone walks around with Airpods on nowadays, staring at their cellular devices. Emitting a noise wont help anyone recognize an electric car or get out of the way…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @SSJeep

            I agree with you entirely but in general I don’t think EV noise is a bad idea. Probably the most sane and lucent idea from the PRK in decades.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            mcs,

            Speaking of underground parking garages (hey why not, it’s Friday):

            At Mount Rushmore National Memorial, you are required to pay a separate parking fee to a third-party vendor to park in a multi-story underground garage (your National Parks Pass won’t work).

            The visitor center is undergoing some renovation work – rework the single-story visitor center roof, update the pavers above on the Avenue of Flags, and install new air conditioning. The project timeline is 20 months (2 summer seasons with no visitor access).

            The Empire State Building (102 stories) was completed start-to-finish in less than 14 months.

            My question for anyone: WHAT is going on with engineering capabilities in 2019?

          • 0 avatar

            Toolguy, a very interesting question.

            My first thought is that I started hearing about prohibitively expensive construction costs in the 1970s when we had a flurry of complex environmental regulations. These required bureaucratic obstacles such as environmental statements and the like, but your example hardly seems anything other than routine, and I would think few would object to a fairly simple visitor centre renovation.

            The other possibility is that cold weather during the year makes construction challenging and maybe prohibitively expensive.

            Maybe with the popularity of fracking it’s more difficult to find workers to do this kind of labor.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Approaching Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) is a NHTSA requirement, FMVSS 141.

          But don’t let facts get in the way of you guys’ rush to get in a dig against California.

          (not sure if I should have bothered, you’ll just shriek “fake news” or some other contortion to try to claim you’re still right.)

        • 0 avatar
          tankinbeans

          My choice would be the wheedling from The Jetsons.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      “Ocean” refers to how far underwater you’ll be if you choose the 84 month financing.

  • avatar
    cicero1

    According to the website: “Fisker Inc. is currently finalizing the selection of a facility, located in the United States, to produce the all-electric SUV.” Not sure what selection of a faculty means. They could not build from the ground up for 2021 release. Purchase Lordstown? Co-development/manufacturing with Rivian in ILL?

    • 0 avatar
      packardhell1

      I live in Illinois, so this kind of excites me.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        Do they have enough cash for the required palm greasing of Illinois officials?

        • 0 avatar
          notapreppie

          To be honest with you, having lived in IL for 27 years, I don’t think the corruption is THAT much worse than other states.

          I just think we’re a lot more open (or worse at hiding it) than everyone else.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “To be honest with you, having lived in IL for 27 years, I don’t think the corruption is THAT much worse than other states.

            I just think we’re a lot more open (or worse at hiding it) than everyone else.”

            I don’t know you had a pretty good run there of Governors going to prison.

            I imagine if you took Chicago out of the equation then you would be right.

          • 0 avatar
            SSJeep

            Oh no, its far, far worse than most other states. Just look at your property tax bill. Or the number of officials IL has either have in prison or are going to prison. Or the governors toilet capers. Or the triple dipped pensions that fleece every Illinois taxpayer.

            That said, Illinois is very business friendly. Its the individual tax payers that saddle the burden of poor government.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    It will be fun not seeing these on the road.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Imagine being second to market by a decade in a ruthless, scale-dependent, brand-driven market…imagine being an investor in that….

    It actually looks nice…but how are they going to distinguish themselves other than slashing MSRP.

  • avatar
    scott25

    I’ve seen a few Karmas around over the years, last year I saw one parked and it was already as ratty as a car twice its age, confirming what everyone says about the overall quality.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I see one every now and then around where I work in Boca FL. Lots of high dollar vehicles here, for example yesterday I saw not one but two Bentleys within 3 blocks of my office. As for the Karma they are much wider and lower then you expect to see from a traditional 4 door sedan.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice name, should also offer a ‘vert.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Smoke and mirrors.

  • avatar
    jimble

    “The world’s most sustainable vehicle” is a bicycle, but whatever.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      When I hear something is made almost entirely of recycled materials, I can’t help but think that it’ll fall apart within a few years, before the lease is done or all the coupons have been clipped from the payment book! Even discounting the Chinese “engineering!”

  • avatar
    Lokki

    Do these cars actually have anything to do with the old Fiskar besides the badges? Same technology? Same engineers? Any of the same equipment in the factory?

    I suspect the vehicle is called a Fiskar only because Fiskar has better name recognition than “
    Wanxiang“

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I don’t know but I suspect they have almost zero in common in terms of technology. Maybe if Fiskar had patents on certain parts they were reused if it made sense but otherwise I suspect these are Fiskars in name only. I would also argue while Fiskar would be more recognizable than something which has never existed here, it has little to no recognition itself outside of perhaps EV aficionados whose numbers don’t matter. GM’s EV-1 is probably more known in the public mind than Fiskar ever was.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Electricity and water, especially salt water don’t mix. Is one of the trim levels on the Ocean going to be Corrosion (we add lightness).

  • avatar
    thelaine

    “Ocean” refers to the debt that will soon drown this company.

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

    Vaporware here! Step right up and get your vaporware!

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Hummer: “ Boring is cheap. All those extra creases means more steel and higher tooling costs.” Extra creases do not...
  • dal20402: The new Explorer is a sign that Hackett is perfectly willing to decontent what should be high-margin...
  • dal20402: As far as I can tell, Hummer honestly believes the mass consumer spends their time half-and-half between...
  • dal20402: This makes me despair for Ford. Cost-cutting is fine where it has no consumer impact. But consumers do...
  • tomLU86: It also would have helped even more if the car had been priced properly. Arrogance, hubris. GM came up with...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States