GRAZ, Austria — Fisker Inc. is poised to begin production next week as promised a year ago, although some features, including those that are common on many competing vehicles, may not be ready until 2024.
Early next year, the company plans to add lane-keep assistance, blind-spot monitoring and automatic high beams to its launch edition Fisker Ocean One. By late 2023, it expects to add lane centering and traffic-jam assist. Its Power Bank package for vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-vehicle charging should roll out over the next two years, according to materials provided to journalists.
CEO Henrik Fisker said his priority is getting vehicles with unique features made and shipped to a growing backlog of customers, especially since over-the-air updates allow for less-critical features to be added later. He has stressed the need for rapid development of models so they can employ the latest technologies, rather than the much-longer processes that automakers have historically used.
“Maybe the traditional companies would have said, ‘You know, it’s going to take us four and a half years — we’re gonna wait,’ ” Fisker told reporters. “But we’re not going to do that.”
Rather than matching what other automakers do, he said his priority is ensuring that his company’s models — the Ocean and future nameplates — offer at least four things that rivals can’t touch.
In the case of the Ocean, he listed:
1. The solar roof, which can provide up to 2,000 miles of charge per year under ideal conditions.
2. California mode, which rolls down all windows and opens the solar roof with the push of a single button.
3. Revolver, the 17.1-inch screen that can be rotated to a horizontal position for watching videos (when the vehicle is parked).
4. Longest range in its price class. (The Ocean’s estimated 350 miles tops the Tesla Model Y’s rated 303 miles.)
And he didn’t even mention some of the most popular quirks, such as the little “doggie window” behind the C-pillar that rolls down or the “taco trays” that facilitate fast-food dining for front seat passengers — intended to be used only in park, he noted.
The Ocean is set to begin official production Nov. 17 at the Magna Steyr contract-assembly plant here that also makes the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, BMW 5-Series, BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra. The sporty crossover still needs a month or two to secure approvals for sale around the world.
Regarding cruise control, Fisker said he isn’t a fan and is among the many drivers who prefer not to use driver-assistance technologies.
“There’s also, quite frankly, a lot of customers that may not care about it, so why wait to launch the vehicle? And you know you’re going to maybe get it three months, six months, nine months later.”