Will the Ford electric car challenge Tesla

Former Tesla partner Fisker wants to use VW's electric car base for the luxury SUV Ocean

In the early days of Tesla, in 2007, CEO Elon Musk commissioned the well-known auto designer Hendrik Fisker to design the Model S for him. Despite his good reputation, several of the Dane's suggestions were not well received by Tesla, and the reason for them soon emerged, as Tesla suspected in a later lawsuit: Fisker had worked on another project on the side and in 2008 provided the plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma, for which he had already collected money - around two thousand of them were built, only then the battery supplier and later Fisker Automotive itself went bankrupt. But the designer entrepreneur kept trying, and now he wants to build an inexpensive electric car SUV on a Volkswagen basis.

Fisker on the Tesla course since 2016

With Fisker Inc from 2016, he switched to all-electric cars like Tesla and first presented the EMotion and Orbit studies. In 2019 he announced an electric luxury SUV for the mass market, which was to be called Ocean, and already gave technical data and prices for it. First, the electric car should come on the market in 2021, now in 2022, but you can already reserve and pay for it. In the fourth quarter of this year, Fisker plans to go public on the US stock exchange via the merger with an already listed company. Nikola Motors recently chose the fast “reverse merger” construction, which is unpopular with Tesla fans because of its hydrogen plans and tips against Tesla.

Fisker cites $ 37,500 as the base price for the Ocean, which corresponds to the level of the currently cheapest Tesla in the USA. And on Twitter, the founder even spoke of $ 30,000 as the starting price - no other luxury SUV, whether conventional or electric, could keep up. In fact, that would be $ 20,000 less than for the Tesla Model Y. In the comments, however, Fisker mentioned that the price already deducted the $ 7,500 that is available in the USA as a grant for the first 200,000 electric cars from each manufacturer. At Tesla, it expired long ago, which gives newer competitors an advantage today.

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But even $ 37,500 should be at or even below the price level of the many models that the Volkswagen Group wants to bring out on the basis of its new electric car platform MEB. Their first SUV representative is likely to be the VW ID.4 this year, followed by the Audi Q4 e-tron and other partly crossover offshoots of the Skoda and Seat brands. But the platform is basically also open to third-party manufacturers. It is already known that Ford will probably use them for two affordable electric cars.

MEB electric car in front of VW partner Ford?

Only the Fisker business model together with the high-volume MEB platform from VW and its own proprietary development process make such a low price possible, Fisker wrote on Twitter on Thursday and showed a computer image of the stern of the Ocean with noticeably wide studded tires, trailer hitch and Roof rails. He also mentioned the stock exchange abbreviation of the planned merger partner in the message.

But while the MEB “alliance” between Volkswagen and Ford was officially announced this June with press releases from both parties, the German side remained completely silent on the current Fisker announcement. And even if the new collaboration becomes a reality, it doesn't necessarily make Fisker's announcement that it intends to deliver the Ocean from 2022 any more credible. From now on, Volkswagen may actually be launching affordable electric SUVs on a standardized basis in quick succession, but even its first partner Ford is not planning its first MEB electric car until 2023.

Tags: electric car, Fisker, MEB, SUV, Tesla, Volkswagen