The unsinkable Henrik Fisker


Good morning everyone,

One thing you have to say about Henrik Fisker is that he never gives up.

The talented auto designer, who had ambitious plans to build a mid-sized hybrid sedan at the former G.M. Boxwood plant, is now “all in” on electric vehicles.

His efforts have produced a prototype of the Fisker Emotion, a sedan that looks a lot like the ill-fated Karma with some bells and whistles like gull-wing doors.


After his previous company ended up in Wilmington’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court and left Delaware $20 million poorer, the mainstream auto media has not paid much attention to Fisker’s next big thing.

The start-up did get some ink in the News Journal. Auto blogs of varying quality have also offered updates.

This week, Fisker will make its way into the spotlight when the Emotion is introduced at the high-profile Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with mainstream site Autoweek taking a look.

Fisker claims the start-up has developed a battery that allows the car to travel 400 miles and recharge in a matter of minutes. If true, this would be a groundbreaking development.

As the article noted, Fisker plans to go slow on production, thanks in part to a $130,000 price tag for the Emotion. A mid-sized vehicle is in the works.

Meanwhile, one-time rival Elon Musk is facing what he has called production hell with the $40,000 Tesla 3. The assembly woes have led to dire predictions about the fate of the California-based carmaker that is struggling to find a way to build 5,000 vehicles a week.

Fisker learned a lot the hard way in his first production effort, with the Finnish-built Karma getting low marks in many quarters.

The Karma’s new owners, Chinese bus and parts maker Wanxiang, have spent years coming up with upgrades. A small number of former Karmas (now known as Renovos) are being assembled in southern California.

Wanxiang is part of China’s effort to take the lead in electric vehicles and one day dominate the auto business.

No matter what happens to Fisker and Wanxiang, electric vehicles will be a factor in coming years, with hybrids and more expensive forms of the internal combustion engine also offering a combination of power and good fuel economy.

Work at the University of Delaware could also lead to the day when your electric vehicle could store power from your home’s solar panels.

It’s an interesting time and Henrik Fisker wants to get back into the spotlight.

Enjoy the warmer temperatures, even if it comes with mixed precipitation. This newsletter returns tomorrow. – Doug Rainey, publisher.

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