US-based Tesla rival to launch SUV in India next year, focus on localisation

The flagship electric SUV boasts of more than 550 kms of range on a single charge, which is even higher than what Tesla Model Y promises.

By :
HT Auto Desk

Updated on:
24 Sep 2022, 09:22 AM

Fisker Ocean SUV promises better range than Tesla Model Y. (Bloomberg)

Tesla is out and Fisker is in for India. The US-based EV startup, which rivals the Elon Musk’s EV manufacturer, has confirmed its plans to launch electric vehicles in the country in coming days. The EV maker has said that will drive in its flagship electric SUV Ocean in India by July next year. The company will also focus on local manufacturing to keep the cost of its EVs down as it failed to secure lower import duties.

News agency Reuters quoted Henrik Fisker, CEO of the EV maker, saying that the US-based EV maker wants to have a first-mover advantage in India, though EV adoption in the country has not garnered as much as pace as other countries. “Ultimately, India will go full electric. It may not go as fast as the U.S., China or Europe, but we want to be one of the first ones to come in here,” he told Reuters.

Fisker’s decision to enter India comes months after Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed holding his plans to launch EVs in the country. Tesla’s decision to stay away came after long negotiations to try to reduce import tariff on EVs. Fisker too failed to get any incentive, but has planned its India business around it. “Ultimately, if you want to have somewhat of a larger volume in India, you almost have to start building a vehicle here or at least do some assembly,” Fisker said.

Fisker’s flagship electric SUV Ocean has already been launched in the United States. Ocean Extreme SUV offers 563 km range on a single charge, while Ocean Ultra promises 547 km range. Tesla Model Y on the other hand offers a 531 km range on a single charge. The Ocean Sport offers a 402 km range per charge. The Ocean SUV use nickel-based and iron-based batteries.

The Fisker Ocean high-range models come with all-wheel drive as a standard feature. The SUVs come with a stylish design and a host of unique features. Ocean Extreme, the top trim of the electric SYV gets a solar roof that is claimed to provide enough power for 3,218 kms of driving every year. There is a Hollywood Mode, which rotates the SUV’s large 17.1inch touchscreen infotainment system from landscape to portrait orientation.

Fisker also claims that its Ocean range of SUVs will be able to power the owner’s home in case of any emergency and charge other electric vehicles as well.

Fisker’s upcoming electric vehicle is a smaller, five-seater car called PEAR. Fisker may consider an India launch of the PEAR after 2026. “If we can get that vehicle just below $20,000 locally in India, that would be ideal. Then I think we’ll get to a certain volume and market share,” said Fisker.

Fisker did not reveal how much investment the EV maker is planning to set up a plant in India. He said it would require at least 30,000 to 40,000 units every year to make its business viable. To achieve an annual production capacity of 50,000 units, it would likely cost Fisker around $800 million (roughly converted to 6,486 crore) in India.

Fisker is currently hunting for space to open its first showroom, which will come up in New Delhi. It is also meeting auto parts suppliers.

First Published Date: 24 Sep 2022, 09:22 AM IST

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