Fisker Ocean makes European debut, prices swell

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European-built BMW iX3 rival appears at the Mobile World Congress ahead of 2023 launch.

The Fisker Ocean has received its official European debut in front of crowds at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. While prices in the US start at around $52,000, the price for right-hand drive models in the UK has risen to start at $65,000 – although Fisker tells us that is mostly due to import taxes.

The all-electric SUV was presented by Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker on Monday, who said the technology convention was the “ideal place” to publicly present the model. The model was previously revealed at the Los Angeles motor show last year. It will be produced by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria.

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Fisker recently opened a European office in Munich, Germany, and a brand experience centre is set to follow in the country. It has forecast annual sales of around 60,000 units in Europe.

The Ocean is expected to take on the Audi Q4 E-tron and BMW iX3 with competitive performance figures, a raft of advanced technology and a range of up to 560km. The model has also undergone pilot production so the necessary crash tests and homologation processes can get under way.

In terms of design, the Ocean stays true to the concept first shown in 2019, with Fisker committed to offering a “true SUV” rather than “yet another aerodynamic all-electric hatchback”. Its slim lights, short overhangs and a wide stance are aimed at emphasising its road presence and give heavy clues as to the design of future Fisker models.

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It remains a five-seater, and the company’s commitment to sustainability extends to a “fully vegan” interior comprising reclaimed fishing nets, T-shirts and rubber. Fisker claims it’s “the world’s most sustainable electric vehicle”.

Other highlights include California mode that lowers all the windows and retracts the roof to provide a convertible-style driving experience; a Limo mode that allows rear-seat passengers to control various vehicle functions; and a rotating 17.1in infotainment touchscreen that can be switched from portrait mode to landscape mode when the car is stopped.

Three trim levels will be available. Sport brings a 205kW motor on the front axle for a 0-100km/h time of 6.6sec; Ultra gets a motor on each axle, boosting output to 403kW and cutting the sprint time to 3.9sec; and range-topping Extreme brings 410kW and a 3.6sec 0-100km/h time. Fisker has not confirmed battery capacities and claims it is still testing the model’s exact charging speeds.

Entry-level Sport trim gets a ‘touring’ battery pack, which is capable of 443km. Key features include a 17.1-inch touchscreen, a ‘big sky’ roof, an electric tailgate, cruise control and automatic headlights. Prices start at £34,990 (AUD$65,000).

The mid-range Ultra specification is fitted with a ‘hyper range’ battery, which ups the Ocean’s range to 627km. An open sky roof, automatic emergency braking, remote vehicle finder, ‘doggie windows’ and a California mode are touted as standard features. Prices start from £48,900 (AUD$90,000).

Fisker Ocean SUV

Range-topping Extreme models start from £59,900 (AUD$110,000) and include smart traction for improved stability in rough weather, a 360-degree camera, wireless phone charging, lane change assist and a rotating central infotainment system, which can sit either in portrait or landscape.

Top models also gain solar panels on the roof to provide more power in sunny conditions. Fisker says the roof is able to produce up to 1500 miles (2414km) of range per year.

Alternatively, drivers can choose the limited-run One spec, which also starts from £59,990 (AUD$110,000). Based on the Extreme, the model will be limited to the first 5000 units produced. Standard kit includes 22-inch wheels and a commemorative signature.

Fisker suggests over-the-air updates, advanced technology and the model’s sustainability qualities will help push the Ocean towards success.

Earth and Fun driving modes are standard in all cars, while the Ultra and Extreme add Hyper mode, which boosts performance. The Extreme also gets a dedicated Off-Road mode.

The Ultra and Extreme variants use batteries supplied by Chinese firm CATL that use nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cell chemistry, which, Fisker says, affords them “a combination of segment-leading range and performance”.

“With the Fisker Ocean’s combination of performance, value and sustainability, I believe we have a unique electric vehicle with industry-first features, such as California Mode, a 17.1-inch rotating screen and the longest range in our segment,” said company boss Henrik Fisker, suggesting Europe was “critical” to the model’s success.

Fisker told us that the batteries and powertrains were “selected this year”, only shortly ahead of the Ocean’s market launch. The reason, he explained, is that “the car industry has been in the common cycle of taking about four years to develop a car, so when you buy a car, the technology was chosen two-and-a-half or three years ago”.

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He continued: “We’re trying to change that into a much shorter development time of two-and-a-half years. Part of the trick here is that we have an amazing engineering and development team, but also that we’re working really closely with Magna to produce our vehicles, because we want a high-quality vehicle, so we haven’t had to deal with building a factory and teaching people how to manufacture a car. So that’s probably an advantage and a differentiator to our business model.”

Outsourcing production significantly reduces Fisker’s overheads, as does its unconventional retail network – centred on so-called experience centres in cities – and remote vehicle delivery and servicing model. A location has been selected for Fisker’s London Experience Centre and will be confirmed closer to its opening date next year.
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UK prices start from £34,990, while the model costs $37,499 to $68,999 in the US (roughly AUD $52,000 to $95,000). Henrik Fisker told us that because the car will be built in Europe, prices in Europe won’t be swollen by import taxes, so he anticipates approximate parity. Fisker is yet to detail plans for an Australian launch.

The Ocean is the first of a planned family of Fisker EVs, one of which will be the Project Pear, developed with technology giant Foxconn, which is set to go on sale globally from the end of 2023 at an affordable price point.

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