Here comes another all-electric automaker, and one with quite a pedigree. If you go to the website for Fisker Automotive you will be tantalized but definitely not overwhelmed with information. Like Aptera, this Southern California start-up is keeping a low profile as their next generation car takes shape. On Fisker’s home page you will see a sexy green silhouette of a sports car, a clock ticking backwards to the formal launch of the vehicle on January 19th, 2008 at the Detroit Auto Show, and three press releases, dated 9-5-07, 10-31-07, and 11-19-07. Oh, and a pre-order form…
|Fisker Automotive’s Plug-in Hybrid
Four Door Sports Sedan.
But there is nothing low profile about the team they’re building. CEO Henrik Fisker is a well respected leader in the world of ultra upscale automotive design, having been the lead designer of the BMW Z8 as well as the Aston Marton DB9 & V8 Vantage.
More recently Fisker’s other new company, Fisker Coachbuild, has been building and selling the Tramonto (base price $296,775) and Latigo GS (somewhere north of $180,000). Fisker doesn’t just know high end cars, he IS high end cars. Joining Fisker as Director of Engineering is Thomas Fritz from BMW. Directing retail sales and joining Fisker’s Board of Directors is Vic Doolan who ran Volvo North America, and before that, BMW North America.
Partnering with Fisker Automotive to provide plug-in hybrid technology is Quantum Technologies, a public company (Yahoo finance profile) specializing in fuel cells and hybrid drives. Considering Quantum’s (QTWW) share price has gone from $10.00 in early 2004 to $0.70 today, considering their trailing twelve month operating cash flow is -$51M, and their most recent quarterly report shows $48M in debt and $5M in cash, we have to assume the folks at Fisker know something the market doesn’t know. Given Fisker’s extraordinary management team, combined with the fact they have raised money from the prestigious Palo Alto Investors – we’ll just assume they know what they’re doing.
Today we talked with Fisker spokesperson Cristina Cheever, who confirmed the company intends to eventually sell 15,000 cars a year at a price of $80,000. Cheever said the first 99 cars will be delivered in late 2009, and that they expect to deliver between 2,000 and 2,500 in 2010.
Fisker hasn’t yet revealed many performance specifications for their new sedan. According to their press releases, the car will go 50 miles on battery power, with nearly another 600 miles of range on gasoline power. We’re guessing this car is going to be another series hybrid, where the gasoline engine is completely disconnected from the drivetrain, and instead turns an onboard generator.
Similarly we don’t have a lot of information yet about acceleration or top speed, but considering the source (the Tramonto does 0-60 in 3.6 seconds), this car is going to probably burn up the road. Fisker has been quoted stating the battery pack is situated in the center of the vehicle, providing “optimal vehicle driving dynamics.” That is almost certainly an understatement. It is a very interesting time in the history of automotive engineering.