Lordstown-Bound Pear: ‘Craziest Vehicle You Will Ever See’
LORDSTOWN, Ohio – Fisker’s electric vehicle slated for production at Foxconn’s massive assembly plant here in 2024 is “the craziest vehicle you will ever see in your life,” according to CEO Henrik Fisker.
Fisker made the remark Thursday to analyst and host Adam Jonas during the Morgan Stanley Investor Conference in Laguna, Calif.
The CEO said the new vehicle, dubbed the Pear, would have features that no automotive company has ever attempted. “They were all developed by user scenarios for a young group of people at Fisker,” he said, emphasizing Pear’s 17-inch interior screen and trunk accessibility.
“I truly believe that we can reach one million vehicles per year,” Fisker said. “The Pear is that amazing.”
Novel elements of the Pear include zero moveable parts in the car’s interior with the exception of the seats, according to Fisker.
“There is no glove compartment – we have found different places for utilities, which means we’re taking so much cost out of this vehicle,” he said. “But we are putting a 17.1-inch screen in the vehicle because that’s what we think young people care about.”
Last year, Fisker Inc., based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., signed a contract manufacturing agreement with Foxconn to build the Pear – an acronym for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution — at its Lordstown assembly plant. In May, Foxconn purchased the plant from Lordstown Motors Corp., which acquired the factory from General Motors Co. in 2019.
Fisker has said that the company plans to eventually build 250,000 vehicles at the plant. Production of the first Pears are to begin sometime in 2024 and are priced under $29,000.
The CEO said the startup company is searching for a joint venture with an EV battery manufacturer to supply the Pear program. The prospective JV would be located in the United States, he said.
“Batteries are so big and so heavy to ship, that when you get to a certain volume, you’ve got to make it locally,” he said. “We are in discussions with several different battery cell manufacturers about doing some sort of joint venture here in the U.S.”
The CEO noted that battery manufacturers are likely to find Fisker an attractive venture partner because of its projected volume.
The company anticipates that a decision on a joint venture with a battery partner could come later this year or the first quarter of 2023 at the latest, Fisker said.
At the same time, Fisker said the company is considering a U.S. manufacturing presence for its first vehicle, Ocean, which is set for launch Nov. 17 from a plant in Austria.
Reservations for Ocean have topped 60,000, he said.
“We had already, a couple of months ago, looked at how we can do manufacturing in the U.S.,” Fisker said of Ocean. A production site has not been determined.
But it could mean an expanded JV with a manufacturer to also supply batteries to the Fisker Ocean, he added.
Should everything fall into place, U.S. production of Ocean could begin “earlier” in 2024 — possibly before Pear production starts in Lordstown, Fisker said.
Both Pear and Ocean programs could also benefit from the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, which includes incentives for consumers opting to purchase electric vehicles built in the United States.
The incentives – customers could secure a $7,500 tax credit for qualifying vehicles – would best help consumers shopping for vehicles like Pear and a base model of Ocean, which are priced at below $29,000 and $37,500, respectively.
However, Fisker said that the language of the law is unclear, especially as it relates to battery suppliers and sourcing raw materials in the United States.
“I haven’t seen any negative impact on this,” Fisker said. “For us, it’s a positive.”
Pictured at top: Fishker Pear.
Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.