Fisker Inc. is going head to head with leading EV maker Tesla, teasing images of an all-electric SUV that it says will be the “world’s most sustainable vehicle” and will cost about the same as Tesla’s upcoming Model Y – and will come to Australia.
The latest image in a series of tweets was posted by Henrik Fisker, who is well known for his work on exterior design for the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage, the BMW Z8, as well as early input on the Tesla Model S design, on Sunday (US time).
Fisker Inc. aims to bring the all-electric SUV – which Fisker says will, like the Karma, have solar panels in the roof – to market by 2021, cost under $US40,000 (about $A57,000 converted), and most notably – an Australian release is on the cards.
Responding on Sunday to a query from TechAU’s Jason Cartwright, “Available in Australia”, Fisker responded, “Yes”.
Available in Australia?
— techAU (@techAU) July 20, 2019
The race is on; and no doubt given Fisker and Tesla’s past rivalry (after starting work with Tesla on the Model S, in April 2008 Tesla sued Fisker claiming technological designs from the Model S were stolen and used in the Karma – Fisker won the case), Fisker has some to proving to do.
Fisker Inc., of course, has a long way to go if it is to truly “take on Tesla” with an all-electric SUV – at this morning’s Q2 earnings call (Australian time), Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasised, despite Tesla reporting a Q2 loss, it now has plenty of cash on hand to continue moving towards a 2020 release for its own “mass-market” electric SUV, the Model Y which it thinks will outsell its already ground-breaking and best-selling Model 3.
Selling high-volume electric cars is something that Tesla has proven, as Musk also pointed out this morning, it can do well.
Henrik Fisker, on the other hand, preferred at first to target the premium end of the market, with the plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma under Fisker Automotive which he co-founded with Bernhard Koehler in 2007.
Less than 2,500 Karmas were ever sold, according to Car Sales Database, and in 2013 was sent into bankruptcy and bought out by Chinese auto-parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group.
Enter Fisker Inc. in 2016, and a new promise from Fisker to “deliver the most cutting edge, exciting and revolutionary vehicles”, starting with a low-volume eMotion electric sedan.
Fisker still hasn’t delivered the eMotion, and is now instead eyeing off the very popular and potentially lucrative mass-market SUV market.
With a promised 80kWh battery and over 300 miles (482km) of range, Fisker has promised a working prototype will be ready by the end of 2019.
Neither a timeline or price range however has yet been promised for Australia – stay tuned.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.