Electric-car startup Fisker Inc. announced Thursday that it had hired several new executives, and secured $50 million in funding for development of its Ocean SUV, due in 2022—all as, according to reports, it might be on the verge of a greater deal that could potentially take the company public.
The financing came through a Series C funding round led by Moore Strategic Ventures LLC, the private investment vehicle of Louis M. Bacon, according to a Fisker press release. The proceeds will be used for the next phase of engineering work on the Ocean as it's readied for production, the company said.
In terms of vehicle development, $50 million is a drop in the bucket, with some from-scratch passenger vehicles taking $2 billion or more to develop. But $2 billion is exactly the amount that a Reuters report, citing insiders, says that Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp or another company might soon pay for taking Fisker public.
Fisker also named Burkhard Huhnke as CTO. Huhnke, who previously served as vice president of of e-mobility at Volkswagen Group of America, will lead Fisker R&D teams in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley. He will work with Martin Welch, Fisker's senior vice president of engineering, an Aston Martin and McLaren veteran.
Fisker also announced the appointment of Simon Sproule—until very recently, the chief communications officer for FCA—as communications advisor to CEO Henrik Fisker. Putting these executives in place adds some credibility to the company as it continues to looks for more funding.
This is Henrik Fisker's second car company. He previously started Fisker Automotive, which built the Karma luxury plug-in hybrid before declaring bankruptcy in 2013. The remains of that company were purchased by Chinese auto-parts conglomerate Wanxiang, and reconstituted as Karma Automotive.
Fisker Ocean teaser
Fisker Ocean teaser
Fisker Inc., the new company, started with the $130,000 EMotion electric car, which the company started taking orders for in summer 2017.
In early 2019, Fisker delayed the Emotion and slotted the Ocean SUV ahead of it. The Ocean was revealed later that year, and Fisker subsequently confirmed a $37,499 base price. Fisker also plans to offer a flexible lease option for $379 a month and $2,999 a month, with no set term.
The Ocean will have more than 300 miles of range, and will be equipped for DC fast charging at up to 150 kilowatts, using the Combined Charging Standard (CCS), Fisker said earlier this year. A performance version will do 0-60 mph in under 3.0 seconds, the company said.
Fisker is currently taking reservations for the Ocean, but the company hasn't announced a battery supplier or manufacturing partner. Production is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2021, but Fisker doesn't expect deliveries to ramp up until 2022.
Note that Fisker previously claimed a solid-state battery breakthrough—initially citing a timeline of 2022, well before even the most optimistic rivals. The company plans to use conventional lithium-ion batteries in the Ocean, but solid-state batteries in the high-end EMotion.