Henrik Fisker’s radical plan to take on Tesla

1 Henrik Fisker’s radical plan to take on Tesla

It also helps that Fisker, via its 400-strong engineering group in California, takes total control and responsibility for the key elements of the car, such as design and software development.

The initial plan is to make Oceans at an annual rate of around 50,000 cars, but Fisker is confident that as demand rises, Magna Steyr will have capacity to build up to 150,000 and sell them all over the world.

Two major qualities will sell the Ocean, believes Fisker: progressive design and sustainability. He’s pleased with early assessments that the Ocean looks great (“I was able to decide the proportions as well as designing the shape”) and explains how he insisted on eye-grabbing features, such as the 22in wheels.

What’s more, he cites Magna Steyr’s recent claim of carbon neutrality for its manufacturing plants and the Ocean’s extensive use of reclaimed man-made materials in its trim and interior fittings as evidence of progress towards full sustainability.

What are the properties that will sell Oceans in such unprecedented numbers? Fisker acknowledges that his suppliers have asked the same question. The low cost is one important factor, he says, as there are few “good-looking, exciting” EVs for less than £35,000.

He then names four others: the Ocean’s ultra-long range for a car in its bracket (up to 390 miles); the eye-catching rotating 17.1in central touchscreen; the so-called California effect, which allows all the windows and the sunroof to open at once; and the largest array of roof-mounted solar panels on any car, which are configured to charge the high-voltage battery system rather than just powering “fans and stuff”, as others do.

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