Supercar legend Henrik Fisker has designs on a cheaper electric revolution

“If you look at the car, it fundamentally hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years,” says Henrik Fisker, who designed the iconic Aston Martin DB9.

“It still has four doors, a trunk that you slam, it’s put on a truck and sent out to a dealer. We looked at that entire chain of events and said: ‘what if we start with a clean sheet of paper?’”

Fisker’s plan is simple: do what Apple did to the mobile phone market. The Danish-born veteran of BMW and Aston Martin came up with his business model for his synonymous automobile company after observing Apple topple Nokia as the biggest smartphone company in the world.

He watched as Apple designed its products before outsourcing the construction to other companies, in contrast to large car manufacturers that commonly own production plants, and decided to do the same.

In 2016, the entrepreneur founded California-based car maker Fisker, which aims to revolutionise the development of electric vehicles with new battery technology to meet challenges such as range and cost.

The 2023 Fisker Ocean SUV is due for deliveries in late 2022, but the chairman and chief executive plans for a lineup of four further vehicles by 2025.

Fisker will design the cars – responsible for the bodywork himself – and outsource the making of the motors to firms including Magna International, one of Canada’s largest companies, and Apple supplier Foxconn.

This will keep costs low, he argues – central to his vision. “Everybody seems to be launching super-luxurious electric vehicles, even the old or the traditional carmakers,” Fisker, 58, says from his base in Los Angeles.

He points to the recently launched Nissan Ariya electric SUV, which starts at £42,000. He compares it to Fisker’s original Ocean model, which he plans to sell for £34,990 with a range from 275 miles.

“I think the real market potential is in the high volume beyond the market of the wealthy, who have bought electric cars,” he adds.

Electric car sales in the UK have boomed this year, doubling their share to make up one in five new cars sold in Britain. But those backing a faster take-up point to the relative cost of most available cars, with electric versions being an average 25pc more expensive than combustion-drive motors.

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