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EV Startup Fisker Reveals the Production Version of its Ocean SUV at the LA Auto Show

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【Summary】​For the past several years, electric vehicle startup Fisker Inc has been working to launch its first vehicle, the Fisker Ocean SUV. Now that journey is closer to completion as the production intent version of the Ocean was unveiled for the first time ahead of this week's Los Angeles Auto Show. The Ocean SUV is scheduled to launch in Nov 2022.

Eric Walz    Nov 17, 2021 2:40 PM PT
EV Startup Fisker Reveals the Production Version of its Ocean SUV at the LA Auto Show
The fully-electric Fisker Ocean SUV on display at the LA Auto Show on Wed Nov. 17, 2021.

For the past several years, electric vehicle startup Fisker Inc. has been working to launch its first vehicle, the Fisker Ocean SUV. Now that journey is closer completion as the production intent version of the Ocean was unveiled for the first time ahead of this week's Los Angeles Auto Show.

Chief Executive Henrik Fisker unveiled the Ocean at a press event on Wednesday morning. He said that Fisker has around 19,000 reservations holders for the Ocean, which is set to enter production next year. 

As an EV startup, Fisker does not have an auto factory like Tesla, Rivian and Lucid. Instead the Ocean will be built by contract manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria, a company which has built vehicles for automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and BMW over the years.

At first look, the Ocean has a low roofline and a wide stance that Mr Fisker says was intended to improve handling. The electric SUV will have optional 22-inch wheels to further improve traction and handling.

The Ocean is designed to be a sustainable vehicle. Mr Fisker said it was designed to help the planet. The Ocean's wheels are made from a mix of aluminum and recycled carbon fiber.

The interior also has materials and carpeting made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets from the Ocean, which is where the SUV gets its name. Other interior materials are made from recycled t-shirts, Mr Fisker said.

Despite the use of unconventional recycled materials, Mr Fisker says the interior of the Ocean is quite luxurious.

The Ocean will be available in three trim levels, Sport, Ultra and Extreme. The entry level sport will have an estimated range of 250 miles with a single electric motor powering the front wheels. Power output is 275 HP with a 0 to 60mph acceleration time of 6.9 seconds. 

The Sport will start at $37,499 and will be eligible for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit, which brings the price down to just $29,999.

The Ultra will come with dual motor all-wheel-drive configuration delivering a class-leading range of 340 miles. Maximum power is 540 HP with a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of 3.9 seconds. It's priced at $49,999. Mr Fisker said the Ultra offers the highest range of any EV on the market under $50,000. 

"Nothing even comes close to that," Mr Fisker said during the unveiling.

The Extreme version of the Ocean will deliver 550 HP and will also come with an AWD dual motor setup. It will have an estimated range of over 350 miles with a starting price of $68,999.

For the Ultra and Extreme Fisker Ocean models, power can be disconnected from the rear wheel as needed to help extend range. Both models will feature torque vectoring for enhanced traction and handling.

The fully-loaded Extreme model will offer a standard-equipped solar roof that helps to charge the battery. It can add up to 1,500 miles of range each year using only the power of the sun.

"It's emission free and totally free", said Mr Fisker. 

Another cool feature of the Ocean is the patent-pending rotating center touchscreen that pivots from portrait mode to landscape mode, depending on the content being displayed.

EV Startup Fisker Inc. Secures a Long-term Battery Supply Deal With China's CATL

The Fisker Ocean will offer a solar roof that can add 1,500 miles of range per year.

The Sport version will be powered by a lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack supplied by Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), which is also Tesla's battery supplier. The more powerful Ultra and Extreme versions will be powered by a lithium-nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery pack. 

Both battery packs will be engineered to support peak charging rates of more than 250 kilowatts. 

Under the terms of the agreement with CATL, the company will supply the two different battery types for the Ocean, with an initial battery capacity of over 5 GWh annually from 2023 through 2025.

All three versions of the Ocean will also use silicon carbide inverters to control the current flow, which increases power to the wheels. This allows automakers like Fisker the option of using smaller electric motors without sacrificing power output. Smaller motors are lighter and can operate more efficiently, which can increase range. 

The Ocean is built on an aluminum skateboard platform, but for cost reasons Mr Fisker said the upper body panels are made out of steel, which helps to lower production costs, but also repair costs if a driver gets into an accident. 

Fisker's Direct to Customer Sales Model

The Ocean will be sold directly to customers, which helps Fisker cut costs. Mr Fisker said that his company is an "extremely lean car company" in terms of overhead and expenses without a dealer network. These savings can be passed down to customers with the Ocean's more affordable price tag.

"We are selling direct. We don't have manufacturing plants we have to maintain, pay for, we don't have service dealerships we have to pay for," Mr Fisker said.

Fisker will rely on a network of local partners to perform any service or maintenance needs for Ocean customers. The company is also opening up "experience centers" where customers can go and see the Ocean SUV in person. The first of these will open in Los Angeles by the middle of next year, said Mr Fisker. The company will have local delivery centers outside of big cities and metro areas that will deliver the Ocean to customers.

Mr Fisker said the Ocean is still on track to launch next year. The first deliveries are expected to start in Nov 2022.

The Fisker Ocean will Have One of the Best Lease Deals in the Industry

Customers will be able to lease an Ocean starting at $379 per month with no monthly commitment. Drivers can lease the Ocean for one, two or three months and return the vehicle with no penalties or hidden fees. Fisker will simply lease a returned Ocean to another customer. Fikser plans to keep its leased vehicles on the road for 12 years before they are recycled.

Since electric vehicles tend to retain their resale value, the lease allows drivers to travel up to 30,000 miles per year, which is unheard of in the auto industry. Fisker's lease deal is much higher than the typical vehicle leases that offer just 10,000 miles a year. 

The favorable lease terms may make the Fisker Ocean a popular vehicle for drivers wanting to switch to an EV.

Interested customers can reserve an electric Ocean SUV on Fisker's website with a deposit of $250.

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