Henrik Fisker is down but not out. After his first attempt at building a premium (sort of) electric car imploded in spectacular fashion, leaving US taxpayers on the hook for $139 million in unpaid loans, the irrepressible Dane is back and this time, it’s personal. He aspires to nothing less than knocking Elon Musk off his perch by building electric cars that will compete head to head with Tesla.
Psst! Welcome to the club, Henrik. There are a few people already ahead of you, namely Faraday Future, NextEV, Atieva, and LeEco, to name just a few. Then there is Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Volvo and host of others all panting after the same pot of gold.
Fisker says his new corporation will be called Fisker, Inc. (Clever name, that.) There will also be a battery subsidiary known as Fisker Nanotech. It will set up shop in California (where else?) but he won’t say who is funding the enterprise. Probably not any of the many individuals, corporations, and pension funds that lost everything the first time around.
The original Fisker Motors built fewer than 2,000 cars between 2007 and 2012, when it went up in flames. During that time, it tore through $1.4 billion in private investments and taxpayer funded loans from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Danish entrepreneur says his new company will build a battery powered electric car to take on the Tesla Model S, which starts at $65,000 and tops out at more than double that figure.
A smaller, less expensive model designed to compete against the $35,000 Tesla Model 3 will follow. Fisker offered no information on when production would begin, which is no surprise, since the company has no factory and no workers. He did say the first car would have a driving range of 400 miles, thanks to new battery technology that uses graphene to extend power and battery life while reducing charging times.
The new company is not affiliated in any way with Wanxiang, the Chinese company that purchased the assets of the first Fisker company out of bankruptcy. That company has now been revived and renamed Karma Automotive. What was once the Fisker Karma will soon be back on the market as the Karma Revero. Confused? Just think of it this way. The latest car from Henrik Fisker will not by your father’s Karma.