Fisker Crossover Appears in California, Production Slated for Late 2021

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The Fisker Ocean electric crossover debuted in Los Angeles over the weekend. Company founder Henrik Fisker claims the model will be competitively priced (for an electric), starting at $37,499. There’s also a subscription service, priced at $379 per month with a $3,000 down payment. Customers receive an allowance of 30,000 miles a year as well as “free” servicing, maintenance, and (presumably) insurance.

Considering Fisker’s track record, having a sales model that allows customers to invest a few grand upfront and cancel at any time might help the Ocean’s take rate. The Fisker name is now synonymous with underdelivering. Poor corporate decisions, combined with plenty of bad luck, ultimately forced the first iteration of the brand to cancel production of the Karma hybrid. Fisker Automotive declared bankruptcy in 2013, with Fisker Inc. emerging in 2016 with more mainstream aspirations.

The Ocean will be the first of three vehicles from the manufacturer, starting production in 2021. The premium EMotion sedan is to follow, to compete more directly with the batch of high-end models still chasing Tesla’s Model S (which Henrik Fisker helped design). Much is promised for the model — everything from solid-state batteries to 0-to-60 times in the three-second range. The crossover will likely have to prove itself sustainable before the EMotion can go on sale.

Ocean’s debut was fairly humble, opening with a pretend phone call where Henrik informed the emcee that he had accidentally locked himself inside “the trunk.” This provided an opportunity to sheepishly reveal the crossover from its display cover and release the man so he could tell us about the model.

Fisker says the subscription model will be handled through a proprietary app aimed at maximizing affordability (by minimizing the need for brick-and-mortar facilities) and can be cancelled at any time. Old vehicles will be brought back when their subscription ends, spruced up, and reissued at a reduced price. Ocean is intended for the global market — launching first in the United States before making its way to Europe and China.

Despite looking as though it can be opened, the hood is reportedly fixed in place. Fisker claims those looking to add wiper fluid will be able to do so via a small port near the windshield, but there would be no need for customers to access the vehicle’s internals. It’s not entirely clear what you would see if you could. While the Ocean’s battery pack is estimated to be about 80 kWh, the manufacturer remains noncommittal. The brand has previously said the model will be capable of nearly 300 miles on a charge, however. The fastest Oceans will be all-wheel drive, capable of a claimed 2.9-second rush to 60 mph, whereas base models will be front-wheel drive and not so sprightly.

We imagine items like pop-out door handles, head-up display, light-up headrests, and “California Mode” (which simultaneously lowers all side windows, rear glass, and panoramic roof) also won’t be standard equipment. A solar roof will also be offered, providing an estimated 1,000 miles of charge per year (weather permitting). While Fisker admitted this isn’t sufficient to be a game changer in terms of reducing overall energy cost, he believes it is important to show such solutions in the hope that they can be improved. The plan is to install updated solar panels on the Ocean as they become available.

Sustainability was mentioned numerous times. Fisker says he doesn’t want the Ocean to be a throwaway vehicle, but a desirable automobile that can be continually upgraded — extending its lifespan. In addition to reissuing older models under a reduced subscription price, Ocean also uses a large amount of recycled (vegan) materials in the cabin. Anybody who has ever sat in front of an automotive executive explaining their hot new EV is knows this is now par for the course, but Fisker appears to have gone to great lengths to source waste materials from the ocean and, despite being made partially from garbage, it looks pretty good.

The interior uses two display screens that ride the line between opulence and practicality. This makes for a rather attractive space that, while not overly busy, lacks a lot of the physical controls some customers might prefer. The center screen is large enough to house all the controls one might need, however, and Fisker has added buttons for the five most common functions drivers like to change on the fly.

With us not knowing what will/won’t be offered as standard, it’s a little difficult to peg the price of the Ocean as a win. It’s loaded with interesting features, but if a few of those don’t make their way into the base model, there may not be much reason to pick it over a Hyundai Kona Electric, Chevrolet Bolt, or (upcoming) Tesla Model Y — unless you’re particularly fond of the styling. If so, the company is currently taking $250 deposits on the Ocean.

[Images: Fisker Inc.]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Dont.fit.in.cars Dont.fit.in.cars on Jan 07, 2020

    I’ve seen folks invest millions in schedule B only to look at their data and see sales are not supported. Doesn’t matter, whole groups of folks in every industry screwing investors and prospects.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Jan 07, 2020

    That dash display output looks oddly like the system on the '80s Riviera/Toronado. Also, it's sad driving past what used to be Wilmington Assembly; it's almost nothing but a dirt field now.

  • Lorenzo The unspoken killer is that batteries can't be repaired after a fender-bender and the cars are totaled by insurance companies. Very quickly, insurance premiums will be bigger than the the monthly payment, killing all sales. People will be snapping up all the clunkers Tim Healey can find.
  • Lorenzo Massachusetts - with the start/finish line at the tip of Cape Cod.
  • RHD Welcome to TTAH/K, also known as TTAUC (The truth about used cars). There is a hell of a lot of interesting auto news that does not make it to this website.
  • Jkross22 EV makers are hosed. How much bigger is the EV market right now than it already is? Tesla is holding all the cards... existing customer base, no dealers to contend with, largest EV fleet and the only one with a reliable (although more crowded) charging network when you're on the road. They're also the most agile with pricing. I have no idea what BMW, Audi, H/K and Merc are thinking and their sales reflect that. Tesla isn't for me, but I see the appeal. They are the EV for people who really just want a Tesla, which is most EV customers. Rivian and Polestar and Lucid are all in trouble. They'll likely have to be acquired to survive. They probably know it too.
  • Lorenzo The Renaissance Center was spearheaded by Henry Ford II to revitalize the Detroit waterfront. The round towers were a huge mistake, with inefficient floorplans. The space is largely unusable, and rental agents were having trouble renting it out.GM didn't know that, or do research, when they bought it. They just wanted to steal thunder from Ford by making it their new headquarters. Since they now own it, GM will need to tear down the "silver silos" as un-rentable, and take a financial bath.Somewhere, the ghost of Alfred P. Sloan is weeping.
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