Will it be as much of a game changer as Fisker says it will be?
Electric cars are getting more practical by the day, but once the barrier to convenience is broken—enabling ranges in the 500-mile range and up while charge times drop to 10 minutes or less—it’s game over for the internal combustion engine. Despite the clout that Henrik Fisker’s name carries in the automotive world, the designer turned entrepreneur would like little more than to shorten the time frame it takes that vision becomes a reality, according to what he told Autocar.
As you might have heard, he expects to do so with his upcoming Emotion. As a direct competitor to the Tesla Model S, the Emotion—the first car out of Fisker’s new company Fisker Inc—is a fully electric luxury sedan with a starting price in the six-figure range. It banks quite a bit of its appeal on style but Fisker promises that it’ll be a dynamic driver that’ll satisfy anyone buying it in lieu of a Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid. A top speed of 161 mph helps assert that claim, but the real breakthrough technology will be in the batteries. Fisker previously claimed to be working on cutting-edge graphene solid-state batteries that would enable a range of 400 miles and about 125 miles of charge in only 9 minutes.
Fisker claims that his batteries are the most dense in the world, with a density 2.5 times that of a lithium ion battery. If his claims are true, Elon Musk will probably be ringing him up sometime in the near future to pick his brain. Almost as cutting edge as the batteries is the design, which features a cab-forward arrangement enabled by the lack of a motor up front to open up the cabin and allow for the legroom of a larger luxury sedan. "Because of the better packaging of an EV model, we have been able to create a more dynamic and sporty design but the leg room is on par with large luxury saloons,” said Fisker.
To get behind the wheel of one of these low-volume carbon fiber and aluminum sedans, expect to plunk down somewhere in the neighborhood of $129,900 when it goes on sale in 2019. If that’s out of your price range, then fear not because Fisker plans to follow the expensive low-volume Emotion with a smaller and cheaper high-volume model. "Production for that will be handled by an established car maker, because the established car brands have really mastered high-volume, high-quality car production,” said Fisker. While the first part of his plan sounds similar to how Elon Musk plans to grow Tesla, Fisker is taking a more secure route to get his affordable mass market vehicle out. Only time will tell which strategy works best.