fbpx

Independent, impartial advice for car buyers and car owners

Find an Expert Rating: 

Who or what is Fisker?

Fisker is a new name on UK roads with not much of a reputation yet, but it could be a brand that becomes rather more familiar, rather quickly

Our Expert Partners

Looking for a new or used car? Our commercial partners can help you find the right car at the right price.
Motors 600x300

Find your next car with Motors.co.uk
Find out more

Auto Trader logo 600x300

Find your next car with Auto Trader
Find out more

Carwow logo 600x300

Find your next car with Carwow
Find out more

Motors 600x300

Find your next car with Motors.co.uk
Find out more

Auto Trader logo 600x300

Find your next car with Auto Trader
Find out more

Carwow logo 600x300

Find your next car with Carwow
Find out more

Among the clutch of new automotive names arriving on the UK market in 2023 one of the most unfamiliar may be Fisker. And part of that is likely due to the fact that Fisker is not even that well known yet in the nation of its birth, the USA, because this is another very young and also quite unusual automotive manufacturer.

Fisker being an American brand may immediately spark hesitation among many UK consumers, because historically bids to bring the US way of doing things automotive to European buyers have ended in failure. Who remembers Dodge, Cadillac, and even Chrysler? All massive names Stateside, and names that crashed and burned in Europe and particularly the UK.

The big exception to the rule is, of course, Tesla – but part of that could be because Tesla has done the whole car manufacturer thing differently from traditional brands. Fisker is another brand putting its fate in electric vehicles (EVs), and will be hoping for similar levels of success to the EV standard-bearer, but again in a different way. 

So who or what is Fisker?

The name may be new but the man behind it isn’t. Henrik Fisker is a Danish automotive engineer with quite a CV – before setting out on his own he worked at BMW and Ford. At the Munich design studio of BMW, he was centrally involved in the creation of the Z8 roadster and BMW’s first SUV, the X5. After moving to Ford, in 2001 he was appointed design director of Aston Martin (which Ford then owned) – the Aston Martin DB9 and Vantage V8 were Fisker’s work.

Fisker also briefly worked for Tesla before deciding to set up on his own as an EV manufacturer – and it took him two attempts. Fisker Automotive, launched in 2007, produced in 2012 the Karma, a plug-in hybrid sports coupe. But the company could not meet production deadlines due to difficulties with its battery supplier and Henrik resigned in 2013 shortly before Fisker Automotive declared bankruptcy. Its assets were bought by Chinese automotive component maker Wanxiang – they renamed the brand after the car which continued in production as the Karma Revero.

Henrik was back in 2016 with a new company, Fisker Inc. which he launched with his wife Geeta Gupta-Fisher. Initially he tried to develop solid-state battery technology, but abandoned this in 2021 to focus on development of the new brand’s first vehicle, a fully electric SUV called the Ocean. Since then Fisker has been expanding around the world and recently announced plans to produce vehicles in China.      

Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker

When did Fisker launch in the UK?

Well, it hasn’t properly done so yet – the first examples of the Ocean launch model have only just started landing with customers in the US and the cars are not expected here until the end of 2023.

Indeed it does seem that the brand needs to do quite a bit of work on its awareness among UK buyers – a report released in August 2023 showed that just 11% of UK buyers had even heard of Fisker.

What models does Fisker have and what else is coming?

Fisker’s launch vehicle is the Ocean, so far the only product from the company to have reached the roads. Starting from a very affordable just under £36,000 it’s an all-electric compact SUV, designed in America but built in Europe at the Magna Steyr plant in Austria. It’s also said to be very Euro-pitched, with one observer describing it as looking like “a slightly squatter, stretched Range Rover Evoque.”

The Ocean comes in rear-wheel or dual-motor all-wheel-drive form, has a range of up to 440 miles with the most potent battery and is available in three trim levels, not including the ‘Ocean One’ launch model that sold out pretty quickly.

The choices do include an Extreme model with a 0-60mph time of under four seconds and a price tag of just under £61,000, while Fisker has recently announced that there will also be a ‘Force E’ variant designed for serious off-roading, boasting such signature features as skid plates and knobbly tyres.  

Fisker has also unveiled plans for three more EVs, and they couldn’t be more different to one another. The Pear is a compact crossover with seating for five or six, the Alaska a four-door pick-up, while the Ronin is described as the world’s first all-electric four-door convertible GT sports car. It’ll have a pretty electric price tag too, well north of £300,000…  

Fisker is also following the same route as Chinese brand BYD in investing in battery-swapping, the idea being that instead of recharging your battery you pull into a special facility and swap the entire pack for a fully-charged new one, which takes just four minutes. The brand hopes to have battery-swap stations in Europe from 2024.

Fisker Ocean
Fisker Pear
Fisker Ronin

Where can I try a Fisker car?

Good question. Fisker is one of the brands going down the direct-sales route, which means you order and fully specify your car on the brand’s website and then you can either go and pick it up from a specified location or have it delivered directly to you.

There will be a number of ‘lounges’ set up, where potential buyers can see the car in the metal and no doubt take test drives. There’s just one of these so far in the UK, in the Westfield shopping centre in west London.   

What’s particularly significant about this company?

Fisker has built its entire brand image on environmental awareness. From the start the company has insisted that it wants to build the most sustainable vehicles on earth, a message it was putting out even before other manufacturers cottoned on to meeting the increasing environmental concerns of buyers.

This extends to sourcing components to build its cars from responsible suppliers and using upcycled sustainable materials. Fisker was one of the first manufacturers to state its interiors were vegan, while we’re told the plastics used inside are recycled from plastic bottles, rubber waste, worn-out t-shirts and even abandoned fishing nets pulled out of the ocean…   

What makes Fisker different to the rest?

Fisker has gone the solar-panel route that other manufacturers have always claimed would add so much weight that their free energy benefits would be nullified. Called SolarSky and available on the range-topping version of the Ocean, these roofs are claimed to make possible more than 1,500 miles of completely emissions-free motoring each year.

That and other niche features, such as a ‘doggie window’ mode to keep travelling pets safe in hot weather and a rotating central infotainment screen – an idea that Fisker revealed before Chinese new arrival BYD did – adds to the sense of novelty about this US brand that will resonate with some buyers. 

Summary

Fisker is an intriguing new name on UK roads. Yes it’s a start-up with not much of a reputation yet, which might be slightly off-putting to some, but others will likely respond to the environmental message that appears to underpin everything the brand does.

Apart from all that, the initial reaction to the actual product seems to be one of well-built vehicles with plenty of performance and range, and crucially, highly competitive pricing. The Ocean comes onto the market cheaper than more mainstream rivals which it outstrips in the crucial aspect of how far it will go before needing recharging. This could be a brand that becomes rather more familiar, rather quickly.

You may also like:

Latest car buying features and advice

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.