Fisker plans to begin production of its Ocean electric crossover SUV in November 2022. A few months back, CEO Henrik Fisker hinted at the potential for eventually bringing Ocean production to the US, and now he's considering accelerating those efforts.
The new US federal electric car tax credit will provide up to $7,500 toward the purchase of a new EV, and customers can take advantage of the credit at the point of sale. However, most current electric cars in the US may not qualify for the credit due to the new rules.
Gallery: Fisker Ocean Production Model
The Biden Administration and those who worked to construct the bill added in requirements related to North American manufacturing. In addition, there are new rules pertaining to the domestic sourcing of battery materials. The goal here is to bring EV manufacturing to the US and decrease reliance on other countries. The US has plenty of catching up to do compared to the current EV market in China.
There are various efforts in place to try to give automakers some wiggle room since many have noted it will be difficult to quickly transition to US manufacturing. The battery materials situation could prove even more difficult for companies since they can't just mine, refine, and ready the materials overnight. While some automakers are working to put future initiatives into place, it will be some time before they're ready to make a full transition.
That said, we've reported on multiple car makers that are already aiming to produce EVs in the US going forward. Kia and Hyundai were among the first to mention the idea. Now, it's becoming increasingly clear to Henrik Fisker that his EV company could stand to benefit from the new credit in a big way. This is especially true since interested shoppers and reservation holders may have counted on a tax credit in the first place, and now there's a good chance the upcoming electric crossover won't be eligible for one reason or another.
According to Automotive News, Fisker is looking into a variety of options, such as buying an existing US factory or working with its partner Magna to come up with another plan. The CEO says Magna will begin producing the first Ocean SUVs in Austria this November. He shared in a recent interview, “I am looking at bringing Ocean production over to the U.S., and we are looking at some opportunities to produce as early as 2024.”
Henrik Fisker went on to add that the new policy changes in the US related to the tax credit have "definitely made us think to accelerate because we think this might give us an advantage.”
The Ocean crossovers produced by Magna in Austria will have batteries from China. The new tax credit threshold related to battery materials will slowly become more stringent over time, so it will be wise for Fisker to look into other options for future batteries as well.
Fisker also has plans to produce a second model called the Pear. Fortunately for the company, it has already secured a deal with Foxconn to manufacture the Pear in Lordstown, Ohio.