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CES: Fisker unveils EMotion

Top tech: Fisker’s all-electric EMotion prototype is equipped with integrated lidar sensors for full autonomous driving capability.

Fisker makes a comeback with all-electric EMotion luxury coupe-sedan

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Fisker logo11 Jan 2018

By RON HAMMERTON

FORMER BMW and Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker is back with an attempt to take on the likes of Tesla in the electric vehicle market, four years after his hybrid Fisker Karma project went belly up under the weight of battery problems and financial struggles in the United States.

Launched in Las Vegas this week at the CES consumer electronics show on the stand of autonomous vehicle technology supplier Quanergy, the all-electric EMotion from the new-look Fisker Inc is a luxury coupe-style four-seat sedan with composite carbon-fibre/aluminium construction, gullwing doors, all-wheel-drive propulsion and a claimed range of more than 640km on lithium-ion batteries.

But there’s more. Also on the show stand is a sample of next-generation solid-state batteries that Fisker scientists and tech partner Sakti3 recently patented.

Mr Fisker, who is best known for designing the Aston Martin Vantage and BMW Z8, says the batteries, which are still under development, will offer much greater energy density, greatly reduced fire risk over conventional lithium-ion units and production costs cheaper by more than half than the batteries used in current EVs.

He said the new batteries could extend the range of a car like the EMotion to 800km.

The company expects the batteries to be ready for full production in 2023, but says the debut might come earlier if major battery producers that are in talks with Fisker come on board to speed up the process.

In the meantime, Fisker’s EMotion will be powered by the latest lithium-ion batteries from LG Chem – the same company that supplies General Motors for vehicles such as the Bolt.

United States reports suggest the EMotion is slated for production in 2019, but like Tesla, Fisker is already taking $2000 deposits on its website for the $US129,000 ($A164,000) car.

The EMotion is about the same size as the Tesla S, but comes with a wider range of gee-whiz technologies such as a panoramic sunroof that can be electronically tinted in four zones.

The four gullwing doors open on electric struts with a swipe of a the door “handle” – really just a strip sensor on the door – that lights up upon touch.

Active aerodynamic aids include a pop-up rear spoiler and a rear diffuser that also automatically adjusts according to speed.

No power, torque or acceleration figures were issued, but the top speed is a claimed 260km/h.

Pushing the electric motors and wheels out to the extremities of the car is said to provide limo-like interior space.

A so-called Chauffeur Edition will come with an optional curved 27-inch TV/computer screen for back-seat riders.

The production prototype shown at CES is fitted with integrated lidar sensors supplied by Quanergy, allegedly providing autonomous driving capability.

Instead of sitting on top of the vehicle like those on current autonomous test vehicles from a raft of companies, the Fisker lidar sensors have been tucked away around the car – in the front and near all four wheels at the sides – for a sleek look.

Mr Fisker reportedly has said that he is yet to make up his mind if the autonomous system will be fitted as standard on the EMotion or offered as an option.

Fisker Inc was founded in October 2016, three years after the original Fisker Automotive collapsed and was sold to Chinese manufacturer Wanxiang Group which now makes a version of Mr Fisker’s Karma in America under the Karma Revero badge.

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