Here's Why the Fisker Ocean Was the Most Important Electric SUV of 2023

Fisker Ocean 30 photos
Photo: Fisker / autoevolution edit
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Henrik Fisker refused to back down and admit defeat. He decided to give it another go after the Karma destroyed his dreams of putting a unique vision into production. However, the man's ambitions were what this "zero-emission" corner of the automotive industry needed. The Ocean is a breath of fresh air, and previews that Fisker can deliver some rather interesting battery-electric vehicles. Here's why we all should acknowledge its existence and get to know it better.
Three years ago, Henrik and Geeta Fisker were billionaires (on paper). The power couple trusted their young car company so much that, in the summer of 2021, they bought a $22 million Los Angeles home after selling a few shares. That (rightfully) startled some investors, considering the young brand was still in its infancy.

Were we to judge this company based on Glassdoor reviews, one would be inclined to say that Fisker is still a fresh startup. Reviewers complain about long working hours, complicated goals, micromanaging bosses, and much more.

Now, things are a bit complicated money-wise since a share is worth around 80% less than a year ago. The good news? The only way from here is up! If you're an investor, don't lose hope. You might be among those who have a winner on their hands and just don't know it yet. I recently learned the term "pre-rich." You can use it too if you like.

But why did we start talking about the company's stock price, especially since that's something we don't tend to do here, at autoevolution? Well, there's but one reason: Tesla went through a similar phase. Back in the marque's early days, many tried to profit off the brand's troubles. Even Bill Gates famously held a sizeable bet against Tesla.

Fisker Ocean deliveries will also allow the BEV startup to sell carbon credits
Photo: Fisker

All it takes is having a little faith

The Ocean is proof that Fisker means business. It's not the outcome of a slapdash plan. It looks good, has the right size for an urban-oriented zero-emission SUV (it's ever so slightly larger than Tesla's Model Y), and is made in Graz, Austria. That's where Mercedes-Benz partner Magna Steyr makes the iconic G-wagen.

There are two ways to buy this all-electric SUV when writing: pick one from inventory or configure your own. The former option means delivery takes about a week, while the latter has a maximum estimate of three months.

Pre-tax and -delivery fee prices start at $38,999 with the Sport. The middle option is the Ultra, which costs $52,999. The one that has almost everything (including the longest EPA-confirmed range of 360 miles on a full battery) is the Extreme trim. It'll set you back $61,499 before tax and fees.

Even though the prices are enticing, some prospective buyers might get cold feet because Henrik Fisker's first venture into car manufacturing failed, and the new company isn't making anything in America. Fret not; the latter's going to change. Fisker confirmed a few months ago that it would add the PEAR and the Alaska to its roster, which should be made in the US through a partnership with Foxconn.

Henrik Fisker delivers the first Ocean to a customer, which happened in Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo: Fisker
Right now, the deal is not finalized. But the brand is keen on having access to US subsidies. So, it will make it happen.

Hopefully, Henrik Fisker learned what truly matters from his previous endeavor and will now make all the right moves.

The startup is also serious about manufacturing a halo vehicle – the Ronin. It looks absolutely superb, even though designers like Frank Stephenson do not agree. That's yet another proof that the California-based brand wants to succeed and attract a variety of customers.

Making an EV that truly feels like a next-gen machine

Disruptors like Tesla and legacy automakers like BMW are currently making battery-electric vehicles that are good and maybe even great. They have the range, the efficiency, the decent charging curve, and the onboard tech to keep you busy or connected.

Fisker Ocean at Copenhagen's Fisker Center\+
Photo: Fisker
What their and other manufacturers' EVs don't have is features like the solar roof, taco trays, the nifty California mode that drops all the windows and almost transforms the eSUV into a convertible, and a rotating infotainment screen that can easily transform into a mini-TV when it's in landscape mode.

But probably the best thing about the Ocean is that it shows just how much faith Fisker has put into its first EV. The warranty it offers is best in class:
  • six years or 60,000 miles to cover repair, adjustment, or replacement of parts necessary to correct defects in the materials or workmanship of any genuine Fisker part;
  • 10 years or 100,000 miles for the high-voltage lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery;
  • a repair or replacement guarantee if the high-voltage energy storage unit's health (energy retention) drops below 75% before the 100,000-mile threshold is reached;
  • 10 years or 100,000 miles for the motors;
  • 12 years (no mileage limit) for corrosion or paint troubles;
  • six years or 60,000 miles for the airbags and seatbelts (except in Kansas, where the warranty is good for 10 years, regardless of mileage).

Fisker Ocean owners are currently waiting for more features to be activated via over-the-air software updates, but the brand should deliver what it promised by the end of the first quarter of 2024. That includes the solar roof doing what it was intended to from the get-go, one-pedal driving, hill hold assist, advanced driver-assistance system, Pet Mode, and phone-as-a-key. From 2025, NACS is coming as well!

Fisker Ocean
Photo: Fisker Inc.
Fisker also proved that it cares about its early supporters. Ocean One buyers received support when they had troubles. Some were even visited by executives!

Since the SUV has a large 113-kWh battery pack, it doesn't drive as well as something like the Polestar 2 or Tesla Model Y. But its suspension setup is good enough for commuting, and the maximum range is a comforting thought for everyone, no matter where the customer might live. You won't be nervous when it's too cold.

Finally, the Fisker Ocean is 2023's most important electric SUV because it debuted a new vision in a profitable yet crowded segment. It's proof that you shouldn't give up when things go south. The Ocean could even become a collector's item one day. Just keep in mind that when Tesla launched its first EV, it didn't have a product as good or as approachable as the Ocean.

Good luck going forward, Fisker!
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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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