Fisker Envisions Third, Lower-Cost Plug-In Hybrid

By dancurranjr On May 24th, 2009

fiskerFisker Automotive founder and CEO Henrik Fisker is a man on a mission.  That mission: to build plug-in electric hybrids for a multitude of demographics.  Although Fisker doesn’t have any cars on the road yet, he’s already planning his third model, which he envisions as a low-cost, high-volume vehicle.

“We’re first doing the four-door, then we’re doing the convertible and then we’re planning a high-volume vehicle for a lower price.  We’ve applied for a Department of Energy grant.  If that loan comes through, we’ll have this vehicle on the road in 29 months,” he said.

The high-volume model will be built in Pontiac, Mich., Fisker said.

“We’re setting up to do all the interface with all our suppliers and we’re gearing it up to start work on the next project, which will be a higher-volume car and will have different construction than the Karma.  We will use our learnings on how to integrate the technology.”

Fisker is taking advantage of what he sees as an opportunity that hasn’t arisen in the automotive world for some 30 or 40 years.  The sudden shift in focus to fuel-efficient cars — and the concentration on different types of hybrid technology — is allowing start-up companies to have a shot, he believes.

“They really haven’t had a chance in the last 30 or 40 years because they would just come up with another gasoline-powered car and nobody needs that.”

Fisker believes now that new technologies are becoming more viable, start-ups have the chance to outdo the bigger car companies based on their expertise in areas outside of the traditional combustion engine.  He points to Apple’s iPhone as an example of the explosion of a new technology allowing non-traditional players to enter the fray and make names for themselves.

We suggest Henrik focus on his first — and possibly biggest — challenge: successfully launching his company’s first endeavor, the Karma.  Then we can talk more about low-cost, high-volume plug-ins for the masses.

SOURCE: Automobile

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