Fisker Pushes Electric Car Range to 400 Miles – Bold Business

Henrik Fisker has come back into the limelight with the Emotion. It’s a five-seater sporty sedan electric vehicle with a single charge at a 400 mile range and 161 mph top speed. It will be released in the market in 2019. The car’s specifications are still being finalized, mainly due to design and technology issues.

The Emotion’s designer is Henrik Fisker, also the CEO of the company. He reportedly made significant changes to the car’s power storage system in 2017. Additionally, the initial release will have a car with a 400 mile range, pending new solid-state batteries. These will boost the range to 700 miles. It is not yet clear whether the nine-minute charging claim is for the current lithium ion batteries or the next generation solid state batteries. Initial reports said the vehicles will be delivered in 2023, then the timeline was shortened to 2020, and now current target is 2019 or late 2018. For Fisker, the most challenging part will be the mass production of the butterfly doors. These are a different breed of gullwing doors which have never been used in any other car before.

Henrik Fisker’s History

Henrik Fisker became famous as a designer for luxury car brands BMW and Aston Martin. He designed the iconic Z8, which was released in 2000. It is one of the few cars of the era where the selling price has appreciated during the close to two decades of existence.

Fisker’s first venture as a car manufacturer was the Fisker Karma. Fisker founded Fisker Automotive in 2007 and built the “Karma” – a plugin hybrid vehicle which was priced at $110,000. The company raised more than $1.2 billion in private equity, plus an additional $193 million from the U.S. government. It supposedly sold more than 1,500 plug-in electric hybrid vehicles from September 2011 to September 2012. Due to fire risks, there were replacement packs installed in hundreds of cars. The company was later sold to a Chinese firm, and resumed production in 2016 with an improved energy storage system.

Bold Innovations

Fisker’s next bold move was creating a car called “Emotion”. It is a state of the art vehicle, with a LIDAR system hidden under the hood, enabling up to Level 4 autonomous driving capability. As an EV, it has an all-electric powertrain and screens for consoles. The company plans to extend the railings for the front passenger seat enabling the rear passenger to have more leg room. The rear bucket seats can be replaced by a three-seater bench turning the car into a five-seater. It also has options for a 27-inch TV for the rear seat passengers.

It has approximately the same rear leg room as the BMW 7 series sedans. The car is an all-wheel drive, with a total 775 horsepower from its electric motors. It can easily reach its 400-mile range due to its 140 kWh battery pack.

There is no other secret to the car. What it has is a large battery pack and all-wheel drive from synched motors on all wheels. There was a conscious effort to make the car lighter. The lithium ion battery is from LG Chem, which also supplies the batteries for the Bolt EV from Chevrolet.

For some industry analysts, the Emotion may be not be able to contend when it is finally released, as all of its features are already on the design specs of European EV cars expected to come out in 2019. By the time it comes out, the niche would have been populated by popular car manufacturers who have extended networks for sales, support and maintenance. The only saving grace would be the solid state battery and the fast charging when this is finally installed in the car.

 

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