Insight: could Fisker become the next Tesla?

Henrik Fisker believes that major changes to the auto industry has brought on autonomous and electrified machines to create a window of opportunity for start-up businesses to thrive.

“The sense of opportunity is to have a menu of mobility options,” said Autocar. “There will also be a new car of segments that no one has thought of, and some of the traditional companies are too slow to react. Some will lose their traditional customers that have been sitting on the fence and in the next two or three years, to say: “I’m going to try one of those new car companies because they seem to know what they are doing, they are doing electric and I’m cool’.”

That’s why the former BMW and Aston Martin designer, is again seeking to establish their own electric car company, less than four years after the collapse of his short life previous company. Fisker said that, to compete, any new company will need a “stellar”–which are different from those offered by traditional car manufacturers – and believed to work on three.

There is the Orbit, a self-driving shuttle to the city centre, due to the end of this year and designed because “there was a stand-alone shuttle I wanted to get, and I thought that I needed to get in one at the end, so I need to make a cool-looking”.

Then there is the recently revealed Emotion, conceived as a low-volume luxury model. “I set myself a challenge,” said Fisker. “How do you redefine the harder the car segment, the luxury sedan? Is the most difficult to reinvent, because it is so traditional.”

Fisker is also working on a third model, which has yet-to-be-revealed mass-market model that will cost around $ 40,000 (£29,000). Fisker has denied that the launch of three different products could lengthen his small business too thinly. “In the future, people are going to choose a mobility device that is the best [suited] for the trip you are doing that day,” he said. “It could be an electric bike or your car, someone else’s car, or shuttle.

“I don’t think that the old ideal, in which someone says, ” we’re only going to do sports cars; that our brand is going to be working in the future. People will have four or five devices, mobility, and, if they like your brand, you should be able to serve in all those areas.”

The Fisker brand, according to its founder, will be “non-conformist, outside and extreme”, with a focus on beauty and technology. Fisker has said that it is proved by the electrical Excitement of the design, which is distinct from luxury sedans will be able to compete, and inspired by the most high-end homes of the other cars (and, why Fisker wanted to be “a little crazy”, has “butterfly” doors).

While it is likely a launch with lithium ion batteries, the Excitement is designed for use in solid-state batteries that Fisker team is developing and which is expected to give his company an important edge. The company exhibited a prototype of its mass to the solid-state battery of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and Fisker says that the challenge is not only to refining the technology – “we have shown that it works” – but the scalability of the supply chain. He aims to have an Emotion with a solid state battery to run next year, and hopes to provide the technical support for consumer electronics manufacturers before introducing it to his car in 2020.

Fisker is adamant: the battery tech mounted the Orbit, and the Emotion at the time of the launch will be fully demonstrated. Forged from the failure of his former company, Fisker Automotive. That experience has demonstrated the challenge of a small company of the scale of production – a problem that is also interested in Tesla with the Model 3 recently. Fisker has said that many people “underestimate how difficult it is to climb a car company”.

This time, her solution is to work with partners who will help them to scale up “in a high-quality way”. While in light the characteristics of what his company, Fisker has added: “we will announce the partner that explains to you how you are doing in a different way from all the others. Some people, when we reveal them, it will make the people: that’s how I do it’.”

According to Fisker, the low volume of Emotion will be a proposal from his old studio for the first model, the Karma, which was designed as a higher volume machine.

Fisker says that it will announce production plans, probably in an existing structure in the US, at the end of this year. He said: “We are not in a hurry, like other auto start-up, exit and build a bigger factory”.

GOOD KARMA? HENRIK FISKER’S PAST DEEDS

After playing in the BMW, Aston Martin and Ford, in 2005, Henrik Fisker set up his first company, Fisker Coachbuild, to produce limited-run remakes of other models. Also, I do not work for the design of other companies, including Tesla and its Model S in 2007.

That year, Fisker has founded his electric car company, Fisker Automotive, is launching the Karma sports car, a year later. The company has been sued by Tesla, which claimed Fisker stole its ideas; the suit was settled in Fisker’s favor. In 2011, there has been a recall of the batteries A123 Systems, Fisker for the Karma. A second appeal the following year, A123 Systems administration, just before a shipment of 282 Karma in a port, in New Jersey, were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

Fisker has left the company in the month of March 2013 has filed for bankruptcy in November of that year, with the property, if acquired by the Chinese Wanxiang Group. The group, founded Karma Automotive, which today produces the Karma Revero, the development of the Fisker model.

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