Henrik Fisker with concept version of his limited production E-Motion electric car
Henrik Fisker with concept version of his limited production E-Motion electric car

This Time with E-Motion:
The Electric Passion of Henrik Fisker

By Bill Moore

Here’s fair bit of Viking DNA woven into Henrik Fisker, car designer and EV impersario. Tired jokes of “Bad Karma” aside, he’s determined to have a role in the transition to an EV world, one that looks well beyond a limited edition electric saloon car to self-driving, on-demand shuttles and to something even more radically different.

Danish designer Henrik Fisker knows how to stir passions… with his designs and his business dealings. After his first car company cratered, the victim of an overweight plug-in hybrid design, questionable quality control, bad battery cells, and Superstorm Sandy, bankruptcy quickly followed. Fisker Automotive and its Karma designs, along with its troubled battery partner, A123, got bought up at auction for pennies on the dollar by Wanxiang Group. It’s been reported that between 2008 and 2012, the company “blew” through $1.4 billion and allegedly lost $35,000 on every car they sold, one of which was to my wife’s boss, the head of Omaha Steaks. Bruce Simmons was so unhappy with the car that he sent it back under a “Lemon Law,” if memory serves.

He wasn’t the only one burned. So were Leonardo DiCaprio and Ray Lane, a managing partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and the then-chairman of Fisker Automotive.

So, it wouldn’t be unexpected that Henrik Fisker would find himself on the scrapheap of automotive history. But the Dane, like his Viking forebearers, isn’t easily dissuaded from his dream, nor has his Bad Karma experience dulled his sense of style or clouded his eye for evocative design. It’s also not slacked his appetite for risk: this time wrapping his vision around a battery technology that others say is still a good decade away from commercialization.

I had the opportunity to chat by telephone with Henrik, whom I met in person in 2012 and pick up our story were it left off, asking him not only about his return to the world of electric vehicles with the start up Fisker, Inc. and the introduction of the e-Motion (pictured above), but also his seemingly risky alliance with an unproven solid state battery chemistry. We also ventured into his more than passing interest in eventually building an autonomous shuttle he’s christened the Orbit.

inteiror of Fisker Orbit self-driven shuttle

Our conversation is just over 30 minutes in length and available using the embedded MP3 player below or for download to your favorite mobile device.

Teasingly, he hinted at a third design he and his team are working on that will be radically different and more in tune with the needs a 21st century world. I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Times Article Viewed: 13774
Originally published: 01 Jun 2018


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