Henrik Fisker's First Electric Car Company Failed But He's Plotting A Comeback In 2017

Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Henrik Fisker, with his plug-in hybrid sports car. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The last time Henrik Fisker talked of reinventing the auto industry, Detroit’s carmakers were in bankruptcy and it seemed like a perfect time to launch a new venture, with the federal government dangling $25 billion in incentives for manufacturers to build greener, more efficient vehicles.

His goal was to create a “fabless car company” that would focus only on design and marketing, while buying parts from other carmakers and outsourcing the assembly work. His first product, the Fisker Karma, was a sexy $100,000 plug-in hybrid sports car built in Finland, but he hoped to launch production of a second, more affordable car at a shuttered General Motors factory in Delaware.

But Fisker Automotive went bankrupt after drawing $193 million of a $529 million loan from the Department of Energy. It was eventually sold to a Chinese manufacturer, saddling taxpayers with a $139 million loss.
Now, according to a fascinating interview with Bloomberg’s Hannah Elliott (a former Forbes writer), Fisker says he is starting a namesake car company again.
The Danish designer isn’t providing many details, but says he’s been working for the past couple years in “stealth mode” on the project, which uses a new lithium battery technology developed by some professors at UCLA. His aim is to deliver an electric car with a range in excess of 400 miles; images will come in mid-2017, according to Bloomberg. It’s not clear where the money is coming from.
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The charismatic Fisker is not lacking for confidence. We’ll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, he’s still working on design and product strategy at VLF Automotive, another start-up car company he founded with Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villarreal in January 2016. 
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