After more than a year of rumors and leaks that gave us a pretty good idea of what to expect, Fisker Inc. finally unveiled their new entrant in the luxury EV space here at CES 2018 with the Fisker EMotion. Following the ambitious but ultimately failed attempt that was the Fisker Karma, Henrik Fisker is back with an all new offering that is primed to take on the likes of the Tesla Model S and other high-end electric vehicles.
We had the opportunity to speak with Henrik Fisker, as well as a representative from LiDar, to learn a bit more about the car, as well as the technology behind it. So let’s jump right in and talk a bit more about the car.
When we asked Mr. Fisker what made the EMotion stand out from the competition, he strongly emphasized the design and the pushing of tech boundaries.
“I think it’s the range of 400 miles. Then its the interior space which has the same amount of legroom as the BMW 7 series. So a lot of legroom in the back. Very luxurious interior. And then I think the very dramatic parts of the super car style versus traditional sedan style. We obviously are more of a company that pushes the boundaries on technology and design. So design is really pushed, and so if you want some quiet anonymous car this isn’t really the right brand for you.”
We also asked about the plan to market the car, which Mr. Fisker said would rely strongly on a direct sales strategy, largely similar to what we’ve seen from manufacturers like Tesla.
From there we jumped into just talking about the car and its general features. The current design of the Fisker EMotion remains quite similar to the renders that were released last year, thin and great looking tail lights and headlights, and the much talked about butterfly doors for the front seats that look amazing, along with gullwing doors for the back. You’ll also notice the big lidar in the front center that makes it obvious this in autonomous car.
What you don’t know is this was a design decision made on purpose to emphasis its self-driving capabilities, but there are actually four other lidar integrated so carefully into the design they are practically invisible unless you are looking hard for them. What makes lidar so great is its accuracy. At 100 meters, some companies have a spot size of around two meters, but with the lidar solution found in the EMotion, you get a spot size of one inch. This results in much great accuracy and reliability.
A key feature of the interior is the multiple screens found throughout the chassis. Apart from the one in front of the driver and the dashboard screen, there is also a huge center console that can be moved from the front to the back. Buyers can also pick the “Chauffeur” Edition, that will come with a 27-inch screen for rear passengers. Rounding out the luxurious interiors is the presence of premium ultra-soft leather, and a four zone adjustable tinted roof. There’s even an inductive charging system that can support up to four phones. Four and five seater options will both be available as well.
The Fisker EMotion not only looks like a beautiful sports car, but has the power to back that up. The multiple electric motors deliver more than 780 bhp of power, allowing for a 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph. In terms of size, the EMotion is quite similar to the Tesla Model S.
Range anxiety is definitely one of the major concerns when it comes to electric vehicles, but Fisker is promising a range of around 400 miles with the EMotion. Even better, the current Li-ion battery from LG Chem has pretty impressive fast charging times with 9 minutes getting you a 125-mile range. Fisker says they will not have their own network of chargers, feeling this fragmentation isn’t good for the consumer. Instead they hope to work with consortium in the near future on more standardized, universal approaches to charging stations.
If you’re hoping for something even more ambitious, Fisker is working to produce a solid state battery in the not terribly distant future that would also ridiculously fast charging — as impressive a getting a 500-range charge in just a minute. This sounds more than over ambitious, but if Fisker can pull it off it would be a massive gamechanger.
The Fisker EMotion is expected to make its way to buyers only in 2019 or early 2020 with North America as its first target market, followed by Europe and China. Keep in mind there’s no guarantee on this timeline, considering that a production factory isn’t up and running yet. It’s not cheap either, with a price tag that starts $130,000, putting the EMotion smack in the middle of the luxury EV competition. You do have the opportunity to reserve the car now though, with a $2000 refundable deposit.
As for what’s next from Fisker? According to Mr. Fisker, this is just the beginning.
“We just announced autonomous shuttles. We are actually going to deliver the first two in October this year, one to China and one to the US. Then we start more production in 2019. [The EMotion] is about two years out, probably in 2020. And we are looking at a higher volume lower cost model as well, but we haven’t anything announced on that yet”.
There you have it for this hands on look at the Fisker EMotion! There are a lot of lofty promises to meet and goals to fulfill here, but if Fisker Inc. is able to deliver things like a solid state battery and ultra-fast charging, then the EMotion is certainly going to be worthy of our attention in this increasingly competitive space.