Fisker, Inc., the maker of the Ocean all-electric crossover, is in a bad spot at the moment. It has barely over $100 million left to survive until the end of the year, production of the Ocean EV has been put on pause, employees are being laid off and the roughly 4,700 cars that are sitting in inventory have been heavily discounted with hopes of refilling the bank accounts.

In total, Fisker’s contract manufacturer in Austria, Magna Steyr, built approximately 11,000 Ocean EVs through March 15, 2024. That isn’t a lot by big company standards but it’s enough for people to be interested in the fate of the company.

Understandably, owners are pissed. Many paid top dollar for a car that Fisker itself says is now worth $20,000 less. They’ve had to deal with bugs, quality problems and support issues only to see the company stumble before hitting its stride. Investors have seen their money vanish after the New York Stock Exchange delisted Fisker because its stock price has been consistently under the $1 mark since January.

To be clear, Fisker is not yet bankrupt. Employees are reportedly still being paid on time and an investor is willing to offer $150 million in several tranches this year to help keep the lights on. Furthermore, if it files for bankruptcy, there will likely be a legal obligation to fulfill the warranty on existing cars. 

However, according to Fisker’s official website, there are currently only five franchised dealers in the United States plus two Fisker Centers–one in New York and the other in the state of California, in Los Angeles and Vista respectively.

So even with a legal obligation to go through with the car’s warranty, it will be hard for owners to find a place that will honor it.

Gallery: 2023 Fisker Ocean

Henrik Fisker and Fisker owners have already been through a similar situation back in the 2010s. Some of you might remember the Fisker Karma, which is now being sold as the Karma Revero. This range-extended plug-in hybrid electric vehicle promised zero range anxiety, stunning looks and stellar performance. But it all went down the drain after Fisker Automotive, the company that made the original car, went bankrupt, leaving customers with doubts about the viability of their expensive new cars in the long run.

So let’s see what Fisker Ocean owners can expect from the future if Fisker, Inc. goes down, through the lens of what happened to Fisker Karma owners. Will the Ocean be serviceable five years from now? Will there be any spare parts available? What will happen to the resale value of the Fisker Ocean? 

2011 Fisker Karma EVer

2011 Fisker Karma EVer (electric vehicle extended range)

InsideEVs spoke with a couple of people who specialize in fixing Fisker-branded vehicles and other EVs to try and answer all those questions. Bear in mind, however, that only some things that happened in the past will be valid this time around.

Let’s start with the reparability issues that many owners fear if Fisker goes out of business. The good news is that the Fisker Karma–a car that was manufactured in 2011 by a company that no longer exists–can still be diagnosed, serviced, and repaired today. But it’s not easy.

Joe Ferrante, who owns and operates EVolution Autosports in Warminster, Pennsylvania, has been repairing Fisker Karmas since day one. He was a service manager and technician at a Fisker dealership in the 2010s when the car was officially on sale. After the company went bankrupt, he opened his own business to take care of his customers.

His shop is now the biggest service center for Fisker Karmas in the world. “I have 30 Fiskers parked for service and I'll tell you, I generally hold the largest volume of Fisker Karmas in one place in the world, including Henrik Fisker’s Fisker,” Ferrante told me over the phone. “He sent it to me from Los Angeles all the way across the country for me to service it. And then he bought one from me.”

EVolution Autosports repair shop packed with Fisker Karmas and other EVs

EVolution Autosports repair shop packed with Fisker Karmas and other EVs

Joe’s shop regularly has over a dozen Karmas in for all sorts of repairs. Some customers have even flown him overseas to have their plug-in hybrids mended. After speaking for about half an hour with Joe, I felt like anything could be fixed. “If there’s a will, there’s a way,” Ferrante told me. 

In fact, the man behind EVolution Autosports said he just purchased a brand-new Fisker Ocean because he wants to tear it apart and see how it could be fixed. 

“I just purchased one, just for research purposes. I have to figure out how to take it apart and put it back together. So that's the only way I'm gonna learn. I don't want to learn on other people's cars. I tend to want to learn on my own vehicle,” Joe said.

2023 Fisker Ocean

Compared to the original Karma, the Fisker Ocean is a completely different vehicle

James Roush runs Roush Restorations in Tucson, Arizona, a company that specializes in repairing Fisker Karma and Karma Revero battery packs. He told me over the phone that he, too, wanted to buy a new Ocean, but it didn’t quite go as planned.

“It's tough. I was a stockholder for quite some time and I've contemplated, you know, purchasing one, several times. And we were supposed to do a test drive last week in Chicago, and that got canceled,” Roush said.

Hardware-wise, even though Roush Restorations has no plans of expanding its operations to include the Fisker Ocean, its owner said that fixing the high-voltage system should be doable.

“The technology exists, to be able to repair them and to fix them,” Jim told me. “But it depends on how well [Fisker] provided the service market with the technology, parts and technical information in order to be able to repair those in the future. And if they didn't, then it's a matter of, okay, someone's got to get into it, figure it out, and then figure out where they're gonna get parts from and those pieces. It's definitely doable. It’s just a question of what it's gonna take.”

A Fisker Karma drivetrain overhauled by Roush Restorations

A Fisker Karma drivetrain overhauled by Roush Restorations

The biggest issue will be the software, according to the two Karma specialists. Henrik Fisker has always been the type of business owner who wants to ship cars as fast as possible, so most parts are off-the-shelf items that could theoretically be sourced from third parties if needed. The platform on which the Ocean is based was developed by Magna, the battery pack is from CATL and the source of other components such as the electric motors will likely be revealed if the company goes bust, making it easier for service providers to source parts.

Joe Ferrante thinks it will be very difficult to do any kind of diagnostics on the Ocean if the company doesn’t release the car’s source code. “With the Karma, tool-wise, there's not a whole lot of tools required for it other than a lot of brains and, you know, capability to diagnose the batteries and repairing the traction motors, and things like that. It's just a skill that was kind of honed,” Ferrante told InsideEVs.

In the case of the Fisker Karma, diagnosing issues is rather easy because the same hardware tool that’s used to interface with the vehicle can be used on both the original Karma and the newer Karma Revero.

2025 Karma Revero

2025 Karma Revero

This means that Karma dealers, of which there are quite a few in the United States and Europe, can diagnose issues with the 13-year-old vehicle. Body panels, suspension parts and other bits and bobs are also common between the two models, so sourcing spare parts for the Karma isn’t impossible if you’re passionate about the vehicle.

But this is possible mainly because the remaining assets of the failing Fisker Automotive were bought at a government auction by China’s Wanxiang Group, which set up Karma Automotive in California and eventually resumed production.

We don’t know if the new Fisker will go through the same procedure if it fails. In fact, a government auction is off the table because Fisker, Inc. didn’t get any government funding, whereas Fisker Automotive was loaned several hundred million dollars from the Department of Energy to put the Karma into production.

The easiest, most beneficial outcome–if Fisker, Inc. goes bust–would be if another company buys all the assets and continues funding dealers and their service departments. If that doesn’t happen, it will be much harder to maintain all the Ocean SUVs that are on the road, but not impossible.

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“There are too many cars to give up, you know, and let them just sit and rot,” Ferrante from EVolution Autosports said. “So we will figure out a way [to fix the cars]. I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”

One specific issue about the Karma right now is that the key fobs are starting to fail and there are no more spares available.

“Right now, the key fobs are gone for the Fisker Karma, you can't get them. So we're trying to find a solution to duplicate that. And, you know, where there's a will there's a way. So we are going to figure it out,” Ferrante said.

2023 Fisker Ocean interior

The Fisker Ocean EV has a central infotainment display that can rotate 90 degrees

Besides EVolution Autosports in Pennsylvania and Roush Restorations in Arizona, there are a handful of other independent shops scattered throughout the United States that are still diagnosing and repairing the original Fisker Karma. Pat’s Garage in San Francisco is a well-regarded shop that caters to Fisker Karma owners' needs and Alex Pop in Los Angeles has a smaller shop that can help Karma owners get their cars fixed.

We contacted Karma Automotive to find out more about their stance on repairing old Karmas but we haven't heard back from the company.

But just because you may be able to service a Fisker Ocean doesn’t mean its value will hold. The most expensive version of the Ocean, the Extreme, was priced at $61,499 in the U.S., while the entry-level Sport had a starting MSRP of $38,999. But those prices–at least on paper–have been heavily discounted for inventory vehicles, with the top trim getting a slash of up to $24,000 and the entry-level spec seeing a cut of $14,000.

2023 Fisker Ocean

The 2023 Fisker Ocean Extreme has a combined EPA-rated range of 360 miles

That said, there have been reports on social media that the base model might not exist in reality and that there’s no Extreme model in stock that actually carries a $37,499 price tag because they’re specced with several optional extras that raise the sticker price by a couple of thousand dollars.

In any case, depreciation for the Ocean is real and it’s massive. Edmunds bought a Fisker Ocean Extreme for $69,012. The automotive publication recently had the vehicle appraised by CarMax. It had just 4,220 miles on the odometer, but CarMax only offered $21,000. That’s almost a 70% drop in less than a year.

On the used market, things are a bit better, with Cars.com showing lightly used Fisker Oceans selling between $36,000 and $55,000. But that’s still some quick depreciation.

The Fisker Karma retailed for over $100,000 back in 2011 and prices on the used market saw a similar trajectory to the Ocean. In 2015, used Karmas were being sold online for an average price of $55,000, meaning it had lost half its value in less than four years. But since then, the depreciation has slowed. You can now get a Fisker Karma between $27,000 and $40,000, according to the listings on Cars.com.

 That doesn’t mean they’re easy to sell though. Fisker Automotive only built around 2,000 units, and finding a buyer for one can be tough.

The most expensive used Fisker Karma for sale on Cars.com is less than $40,000

The most expensive used Fisker Karma for sale on Cars.com is less than $40,000

“Right now, I've got two Fiskers for sale that have less than 10,000 miles on them. They're both perfect, one-owner cars in excellent shape, and I'm struggling to sell them at $38,000,” said James Roush. “It’s a brand-new car.”

I asked Joe Ferrante and James Roush what advice they would give to current Fisker Ocean owners and people who are contemplating buying one at a discounted price. 

“If you're the person that wants to be able to take it somewhere for service and have it taken care of, and you don't have patience–that's a big word, patience–now is probably the time to let go. Because there's going to be a time where there's no service access, there's no parts access. And we know we could be potentially looking at some struggles to keep the cars going if there are software problems,” the owner of EVolution Autosports said.

“If you're a passionate person, and you're behind the brand, and you're into it from the beginning, and you're invested, stay with it and we'll we'll figure it out,” Ferrante said in the end.

2023 Fisker Ocean

2023 Fisker Ocean

James Roush has a similar approach to the matter. He told me that anytime somebody decides to buy the first production model of an up-and-coming company, there will be problems and the owners need to realize this. “Anytime you the first production model of something, you know, everything's not going to be right. And if the company doesn't do well, that's the risk you run,” Roush said.

Roush added that if you want to get one for cheap, you should go for it. “It's a one-off car. There may be more [cars], there may be support, there may not be. That's the risk you run and if you've got 30 grand to risk and this is where you want to do it, go for it. There's no harm in that. Enjoy it while you have it.”

The Fisker Ocean wasn’t made by a gigantic automotive company that can afford to live off its portfolio of cars to provide support to customers of its flagship model. The Ocean is Fisker’s flagship but it’s also the company’s sole product, so keep that in mind when trying to make a decision. It’s similar to a boutique manufacturer that has limited output and a limited service network.

2023 Fisker Ocean

So do your homework and think twice before making a decision. Do you have another car to use if the Ocean becomes temporarily undrivable? Are you patient enough to wait weeks for an issue to be resolved at an independent shop that’s potentially hundreds of miles away, and do you have the financial resources to ship the car to another state to get it fixed if the company goes bankrupt and the dealers decide to cut their losses?

These are all valid questions and only you can decide. But at least now you know what to expect.

Update: Fisker, Inc. got in touch with us and said that the number of franchised dealers in the United States has increased to five. Previously, the company had two dealers. The article has been updated to reflect this change.

Furthermore, we asked Fisker's representative a series of questions regarding the repairability of the Ocean EV and we'll update this article once again when we hear back.

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