As the struggles of so many car makers to ignite the sales growth of their electric car lines continue to show, there’s still plenty of need for reassurance among those looking to buy their first EV.
While people who’ve already made the leap may argue it differently, many still see electric cars, which cost more than their ICE equivalents, as having potentially problematic usability for those who can’t depend on easy home charging.
The Fisker Ocean, the emergent American-based EV specialist’s first production car, engages with those perceptions head on. Designed in California but built by Magna Steyr in Austria (on the same line that, until recently, cranked out the BMW 530e), this is an unexpectedly compact, European-flavoured SUV that leads with its smooth-surfaced, sophisticated design. In the metal, it looks a little like a slightly squatter, stretched Range Rover Evoque - but it certainly escapes the awkward proportions of so many of its electric rivals, and is distinctive enough to stand out in its own right. It's a good-looking car, this - just as you'd expect given the reputation of the eminent car designer whose name adorns its model badge.
But while the Ocean’s wide-stanced, sharp-featured styling is typically seen on cars with ‘premium-brand’ associations, Fisker actively avoids such a classification. It sees customers moving away from the automotive nameplates associated with consumerist ‘aspiration’ over the past half-century and towards new ones that better embody their personal values. Then again, if it only asks those who come and knock on its door in the first place, so it probably would.