Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fisker is coming back, he says, with 400-mile electric car using graphene cells

Henrik Fisker
Henrik Fisker

Henrik Fisker has designed some remarkable cars, among them Aston Martins, the BMW Z8, and of course the striking Fisker Karma range-extended electric luxury sedan. That vehicle, launched in 2012 by his namesake company, saw production of less than 3,000 units before the company collapsed in bankruptcy.

The same vehicle will relaunch next year as the 2017 Karma Revero, to be built in Southern California by the Chinese firm Wanxiang. The Danish designer left the company he cofounded several months before it was shuttered and subsequently sold in bankruptcy court. He joined former GM product czar Bob Lutz in VLF, a company that re-engineers old Karmas with powerful Corvette engines transmissions, removing the plug-in powertrain entirely to create a vehicle called the VLF Destino. Yesterday, Fisker revealed that he has formed a new company—called Fisker Inc.—that will unveil a luxury electric car with a 400-mile range in the second half of next year.
Image tweeted by Henrik Fisker to announce formation of new Fisker Inc. electric-car firm, Sep 2016
Image tweeted by Henrik Fisker to announce formation of new Fisker Inc. electric-car firm, Sep 2016

Big plans, eh?
The report comes via Bloomberg, which interviewed Fisker about his new ventures—including the creation of Fisker Nanotech, a separate company focused on electric-car batteries. "We have the [battery] technology that nobody else has," Fisker said in the interview. "And there is nobody even close to what we are doing out there.”

Jack Kavanaugh, who heads Fisker Nanotech, says that the new battery technology comes from research conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles.
[UPDATE: Fisker said the new battery technology uses graphene to reduce charging time and extend both its range and operating life, according to a later update from Reuters.]
Now based in L.A., Fisker declined to give details about the secret battery or the new car that will use it, except that it would be luxurious, sporty, spacious, and good-looking.
It will, he told Bloomberg, "look completely different" than anything else on the market. It will include some of his signature design elements, and target the Tesla Model S.
Henrik Fisker
Henrik Fisker
This time, though, part of the business plan is to sell battery technology to other carmakers as well, Fisker said.
The first vehicle will pave the way for the company to produce a second, higher-volume electric car with a price of $40,000 or less, Fisker suggested.
Targeting the planned Tesla Model 3, the second vehicle will still offer more range than competing vehicles in that segment.

In other words, that's pretty much the game plan from the original Fisker Automotive.
That company had unveiled a design concept for its second vehicle, the less-pricey Fisker Atlantic sedan (developed under the code name "Nina") before it went under.
Fisker gave few details beyond the establishment of the new companies and the various adjectives, though he noted the projects have been underway in stealth mode for two years.

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