Car manufacturer Fisker is intent on taking the fight of electric cars directly to rivals with its new battery and vehicle.
The company plans on selling its EMotion in 2019, and it’s targeted directly at industry darling Telsa’s Model 3.
But even as Tesla pushes production to 5000 units by the end of August, California-based Fisker is determined to make its presence electric.
“Our patent-pending Fisker Flexible Solid-State Battery is one of our core technologies that will provide Fisker (and the industry – both automotive and the consumer electronics industry) with class-leading range, charging, safety and cost benefits,” Fisker boss Henrik Fisker told Wheels24 in an exclusive interview.
The company – founded in 2007 – recently announced In-Wheel eDrive tech in its Orbit autonomous electric shuttle.
EMotion electric car
But central to electric vehicles (EVs) is the battery; Fisker said the power unit has 2.5 times the energy density of Lithium-Ion batteries.
However, the jewel in Fisker’s crown is the recently announced EMotion which will feature some of the company’s battery and charging technology.
Top speed for the four seater car will hit an M3-rivalling 257km/h albeit with four-wheel drive and an electric range of 643km.
Comparatively, the Model 3 features a range of 539km and a top end of 226km/h.
South Africans though, could wait a long time before there are more EV choices beyond the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf.
“Our initial market entries are USA, China and Europe – but we expect all other markets to eventually follow, depending on demand for EVs in those countries,” said Fisker.
He said that some of the challenges to rolling out EVs in Europe was a lack of comprehensive infrastructure which hurt the development of EV car technology.
Some countries like Norway, The Netherlands and France lead Europe in the adoption of EVs and some of the policies include low taxes on EVs, free parking in urban centres, and access to bus lanes.
To mitigate pollution from diesel, the EU announced that it will pass legislation that all vehicles have to be EVs by 2050, putting pressure on manufacturers to produce replacement plug-in electric cars.
According to the European Environmental Agency Electric vehicles in Europe report, the transport sector is responsible for 25% of region’s greenhouse gas emissions.
For manufacturers, pressure is mounting to produce EVs, but smaller players may not have the ability to scale production to meet the demand for plug-in EVs.
“Fisker plans to forge many partnerships and will be a major player in different market segments. This includes vehicles and related technologies like the Fisker Flexible Solid-State Battery,” said Fisker.
He said that for SA, fellow Brics nation China pointed the way to sustainable transport.
“I think South Africa may actually learn more from China about EVs – and how to promote them, rather than Europe. They seem to be well on the way when it comes to Smart Cities and that kind of infrastructure.”
China and the US currently have the largest global electric car market.
According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, China had 336 000 new EV registrations in 2016, compared to 160 000 in the US.
In 2017, EVs in China were exempt from sales taxes and the government offered a subsidy valued at between $635 and $9 530.
Still despite those numbers the Fisker EMotion is not cheap.
For the leather interior, butterfly doors and autonomous driving, the EMotion is expected to retail for $130 000 when its launches in 2019, much more expensive than the Tesla Model 3, which costs $35 000.
Still, for the well-heeled South African who would rather go electric than internal combustion, Fisker awaits your $2 000 deposit for its 0 – 100km/h in 3 seconds luxury car.