Henrik Fisker is coming back to the electric car arena through his new company that’s preparing to launch its first model next year.
Fisker, who made his name as a top designer at BMW Group and Aston Martin prior to launching Fisker Automotive, will reveal a premium electric car in the second half of 2017 through his new company, Fisker Inc. In an interview, he told Bloomberg it will be a “spiritual successor” to the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sports car that he launched in 2012.
“We have really been working in stealth mode,” Fisker said. “For the last two years I have been looking at battery technologies and wanted to see if there was something that could really give us a new paradigm. We had the strategy of developing the technology as fast as possible without getting tied down to a large organization, which would hold us back. Now we have the technology that nobody else has. And there is nobody even close to what we are doing out there.”
Fisker Inc. is also starting up a battery division, Fisker Nanotech, a new private corporation based in northern California. Fisker will be serving as chairman and CEO of Fisker Inc., while the chairman of Fisker Nanotech is Jack Kavanaugh.
When Fisker Automotive Inc. finished a structured bankruptcy auction in February 2014, Henrik Fisker retained the Fisker brand name. Wanxiang Group bought assets in the company and now owns Karma Automotive, which recently launched the Karma Revero plug-in hybrid based on the Fisker Karma’s platform.
The startup hasn’t named the new Fisker model yet, but it’s likely to be an all-electric model. The company claims it will have a driving range of more than 400 miles with industry-leading battery life that will potentially match the life of the vehicle. Kavanaguh said it will be developed at Fisker Nanotech’s prototype and manufacturing facilities in California.
Fisker Inc. hasn’t yet released details on the innovative new technology. The company claims the electric car will have more rear legroom and headroom than any of its closest competitors. As for how the longest-range and longest-living battery will come about, Kavanaugh said that a new packaging method and lightweight materials in the battery pack will be part of it. It will contain some lithium, but not the conventional lithium-ion used in electric cars like the Tesla Model S, he said.
“The technology emanates from several professors from UCLA who have been working on energy storage,” Kavanaugh said. “We have already developed prototypes that you won’t see anywhere else.”
Fisker declined to describe much of what it will look like, but the company did send out a press release this morning with an early sketch of the electric car, which you can see above.
“It will definitely be something that when you see it, it will look completely different,” Fisker said.
He did not say whether it will tap into the chassis or other components from the Fisker Karma or VLF Force 1. Fisker serves as head of design and product strategy at VLF Automotive, the company he founded with former GM executive Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villarreal in January 2016.
“It will be sporty and spacious. And you’ve got to make something look beautiful, there is no excuse for making an ugly car, even with new technology, so it will definitely have some of my signature elements,” Fisker said.
Fisker Inc. will be following the lead of other automakers with its second car, which will be a mass-market affordable electric car years after the launch of the first car. Fisker said it will retail for less than $40,000, and will have a longer electric range than competitive models.
Fisker, who lives in Los Angeles, said the ultimate goal of creating the new battery technology will be selling it to existing automakers.
“We will also be looking at selling this technology to other OEMs because if you want to reach true mass market potential we need probably eventually an OEM,” he said. “We are having very superficial discussions right now with a couple of them.”
Like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Fisker will stay quite busy heading other companies. As previously mentioned, he heads design and product strategy at VLF Automotive. He’s also CEO of HF Design, a design and innovation company that makes products for automotive, lifestyle, home, education, and smart devices. Earlier this year, HF Design launched a 164-foot super yacht series with Benetti Yachts.