► Fisker's new EV SUV
► Aiming to cost under $30k in the US
► Due in second half of 2021
Fisker, the American company best known for its Karma and Emotion cars, has revealed more details of its first ‘affordable’ model – the Ocean SUV. The Fisker Ocean is being touted by the company as ‘the world’s most sustainable vehicle’ and takes the form of a large, fully-electric SUV packed with tech ranging from groundbreaking to gimmicky.
It will be released in 2021 but the brand is taking $250 (£195) reservations at present. Prices will start at $37,499 in the US (£29,334) but after federal tax credits are applied customers will pay just $29,999 (£23,456) – or so the company promises.
Not the first electric SUV I’ve seen…
No, and it won’t be the last either. The overall design is clean with smooth surfacing, slim headlights and flush doorhandles. To our eyes, it’s a cross between Byton’s M-Byte, Rivian’s R1S and a Range Rover Evoque.
Fisker calls the pattern across the lower bumper ‘parametric’, radars are hidden behind a glass panel just underneath the badge, and optional 22-inch wheels are available.
Anything groundbreaking under the skin?
No, but nor is it behind the pace – despite the promised low entry price. Fisker claims all but the base model will get a 301bhp configuration delivering power to all four wheels. With a battery capacity of more than 80kWh (how much more, Fisker wouldn’t say) a range of more than 300 miles is targeted.
Thanks to ultra-fast 150kW charging capability, a 15% - 80% charge can take as little as 30 minutes. There’s also a solar panel in the roof to help top up the car on sunny days.
This car wouldn’t be a Tesla-beater without a performance variant, though, so Fisker says a higher-performance variant is on the way, capable of 0-60mph in less than three seconds.
A clever computer-controlled cooling system optimises aerodynamics at all times, theoretically maximising both battery lifespan and range, and the battery pack’s protected by what Fisker calls a ‘unique, industry-leading structure’ to cushion it in the event of a side impact.
There’s also a multi-link rear axle, with the entire rear suspension mounted on a subframe to improve isolation and refinement.
What’s the tech like?
Fisker’s taken a bit of a Tesla approach to the Ocean’s interior, with plenty of headline features – some more welcome than others.
As befits almost any new headline EV, the interior is littered with screens – a 16-inch centre unit, a 9.8-inch instrument display, and a state-of-the-art head-up display too. A wealth
The entire interior is vegan, with carpets made from recycled fishing nets and plastic bottles. That definitely fits with the ‘Ocean’ branding, and is usefully sustainable.
Further bringing up images of the beach is ‘California Mode’. At the press of a button, this will open all of the Ocean’s windows, rear windscreen and panoramic sunroof for an ‘open-air’ feeling. A bit like a Renault Avantime.
Slightly less useful and arguably more dangerous will be ‘Karaoke Mode’ which Fisker is ‘working on’. When done, it will display lyrics from songs in the head-up display so you can sing along. Oh dear. No word on whether you can make the indicators play fart sounds, though, a la Tesla Model X.
How much is it again?
Fisker’s targeting a US price of $37,499, which would be reduced to $29,999 after federal tax credits are applied. That’s not just decent value, it’s properly cheap, especially for a car of the Ocean’s size and performance. Obviously, we’ll take all that with a pinch of salt given the car’s still more than a year away – first deliveries are pegged for the end of 2021.
European pricing is also unlikely to be this low, with Fisker saying it ‘will be adjusted according to each country’s respective import taxes, incentives and other factors’. This is likely to put a serious additional burden on UK buyers. For example, the Tesla Model 3 costs from $39,990 (£30,733) in the US, but the equivalent model is £39,000 here. Expect a similar price jump for the Ocean.
If you’re interested, though, a deposit of $250 (£195) gets you a spot on the waiting list.