If at first, or at second you don’t succeed…
If you’re not immediately familiar with Henrik Fisker, that’s okay. You probably don’t know the chap who designed your car by name, either. But Fisker’s work speaks for itself, with his eye for aesthetics leaving lasting marks on the world. BMW’s Z8 would not be so fondly remembered today (thanks to its soggy handling) had it not been for that amazing Fisker design, and there’s not much that needs saying about Aston Martin’s glorious DB9.
In 2007, Fisker decided to go it alone and at the 2008 Detroit show, he showed off the Fisker Karma, a large luxury range-extender EV that aimed to show the harmony between driving-fun and ecological thoughtfulness. Fisker Automotive, the company he helmed then, had plans to introduce a smaller & more affordable model, as well as variants of the Karma to suit different buyer demands. But the company shuttered in 2013 and its assets were sold at a bankruptcy auction, mostly to China (where it became Karma Automotive, producing the Karma Revero).
But in 2016, the entrepreneurial designer rebooted his plans, and came back with Fisker Inc. He expressed an interest in a beautiful, connected, emissions-free machine, marrying the technology of tomorrow with the sort of timeless design that he’s been known for. And in a recent interview with Automotive News Europe, it seems that that plan is on track. But first, a mass-market model.
It will be a global car “sold everywhere, but it will be produced in the U.S.” Additionally, Fisker revealed that the company is looking to take over an existing plant, as it reduces establishment time and allows for easier ramp-up as demand increases. Under him sit “fewer than 100 people” in his employ, and while they are “hiring a new person every week,” Fisker says it’s in the company’s interests to remain as lean as possible.
Talking about life after watching Fisker Automotive tank in 2014, he says that the return is “more right” now due to the “clear trend moving to electric.” One of the major factors that gives him confidence in his return to the market is the path set by big traditional companies, “specifically Volkswagen.”
Fisker said that the company is looking very intently into solid-state batteries, which he says would allow for “half the weight with the same output.” So intent are Fisker that they “have built a lab inside Fisker,” and they’re “hoping to get them out of the lab and into vehicles very soon.” On that, he said that he’s hoping to get working prototypes out this year, with testing through to 2020, and then market introduction the following year.