You’ll be able to lease Fisker’s sub-$40,000 electric SUV through an app

Fisker plans to launch an electric SUV with up to 300 miles of range and a base price under $40,000 in 2021. Now, we know the vehicle’s name, and that it won’t be sold through conventional dealerships. The car will be called the Fisker Ocean, and customers will be able to lease it through an app. Fisker plans to begin taking reservations through the app November 27, but the car itself won’t be unveiled until early 2020.

One of three planned Fisker electric cars, the Ocean will take eco-friendliness to a new level. The interior will use recycled carpeting made from fishing nets, as well as 100-percent vegan upholstery. Fisker plans to use an “eco-suede” material derived from recycled clothing and plastics, as well as rubber waste from tire manufacturing. That not only avoids wasting material, but also saves energy that would need to be generated to make new parts.

The Ocean will have standard all-wheel drive, with one electric motor powering each axle. Fisker previously said the SUV will have an 80-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, with a range of 250 miles to 300 miles, depending on driving conditions. Fisker also plans to to fit the Ocean with a solar roof, which the company claims can add up to 1,000 miles of driving per year. Company founder and namesake Henrik Fisker’s previous company fitted a solar roof to its plug-in hybrid Karma. That car has since reentered production under a new corporate entity.

Fisker said it would offer the Ocean for lease via an app, but didn’t offer many other details. In a statement, Henrik Fisker said that “we take care of all the service and maintenance,” but wouldn’t discuss pricing. While the company has said the Ocean will start below $40,000, it’s unclear how far below. Note that the Tesla Model Y, which is expected to launch around the same time as the Ocean, will start at $39,000. Audi is also planning to launch a production version of its Q4 E-Tron concept, which may land close to the Fisker and Tesla in price.

More details on the app-based leasing program — included pricing — will be revealed during a livestream event November 27. Fisker will begin taking reservations for the Ocean at that time, but the car itself won’t be revealed until January 4, 2020. That’s a bit later than the December 2019 reveal date Fisker originally mentioned, and the company said the car it plans to show will be a “production-intent prototype” — not the finished article. Fisker hopes to begin production at the end of 2021, but doesn’t expect high-volume deliveries to begin until 2022.

Fisker’s previous company — Fisker Automotive — shows what can happen to even the most ambitious automotive startup. The Fisker Karma was originally hailed as a rival to the Tesla Model S, but only about 2,000 were built before the company went bankrupt in 2014 (Henrik Fisker left prior to that). Despite that bad experience, Fisker is doubling down. Alongside the mass-market Ocean, the automotive designer turned businessman is planning a more luxurious model called the EMotion, which will use cutting-edge solid-state batteries.

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