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No VW thing: Fisker Ocean electric SUV to be built by Magna

No VW thing: Fisker Ocean electric SUV to be built by Magna

California-based Fisker Inc. is pushing ahead with plans to deliver its upcoming Ocean electric crossover by the end of 2022. And it has a partner to help realize that: Magna International. 

Although Fisker’s path to production is by no means a sure thing—with funding one potential challenge—Thursday’s announcement builds on a memorandum of understanding made in August and is a significant step forward for Fisker in that it’s found both a builder and a platform.

In a release, Magna said that the Ocean will be built by Magna in Europe. However the inclusion of Magna-Steyr in the release all but assures that location to be Graz, Austria, where Magna currently builds the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV under contract, as well as the BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra. Magna-Steyr has produced more than 3.7 million vehicles from 30 different models, it says.

That platform does not come from Volkswagen. Although Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker previously reported that he was in negotiations with VW over the use of its MEB platform for mass-market electric vehicles—a platform, underpinning the upcoming Volkswagen ID.4 and Audi Q4, plus a long list of upcoming models, that VW had previously said might be available to other automakers—talks had reportedly stalled in August. 

Magna e4 technology demonstrator (Jaguar I-Pace)

Magna e4 technology demonstrator (Jaguar I-Pace)

Instead, the Ocean “will leverage Magna’s EV architecture combined with the Fisker-Flexible Platform Adaptive Design (FF-PAD) to create a lightweight, aluminum intensive platform.”

Although Fisker hasn’t yet defined its platform, Magna has been investing in its own electrified propulsion research and development for years and is prepared for exactly such an opportunity. In a Jaguar I-Pace–based technology demonstrator Green Car Reports drove earlier this year, called the e4, it installed its own proprietary 180-kw (241-hp) electric motors front and rear, plus its own gearboxes and its own software and vehicle control strategy. It also reworked the battery control system for the I-Pace but kept the Jaguar’s existing battery pack. Altogether it reported improved performance plus a 25% boost in range versus the stock system. 

Magna e4 technology demonstrator (Jaguar I-Pace)

Magna e4 technology demonstrator (Jaguar I-Pace)

Magna e4 technology demonstrator (Jaguar I-Pace)

Magna e4 technology demonstrator (Jaguar I-Pace)

Magna e4 technology demonstrator (Jaguar I-Pace)

Magna e4 technology demonstrator (Jaguar I-Pace)

“We are very happy to be able to work with Fisker on such an exciting, sustainable product and to see what additional opportunities this cooperation may bring,” said Swamy Kotagiri, President of Magna. “This is a great example of our strategy to leverage our strong portfolio to scale for future mobility needs and utilize our full vehicle engineering and manufacturing capabilities.

Henrik Fisker and the Fisker Ocean

Henrik Fisker and the Fisker Ocean

Although what underpins the Ocean is now assured, a release from Magna portrayed the arrangement solely as a technical-solution and contract-manufacturing deal. Getting the model to production will likely require a dramatically higher budget than what Fisker can afford at present. In July, the startup hired several executives and reported that it had secured $50 million in funding. Fisker seeks to be listed on the stock market later this year, as part of a merger with Spartan Energy Acquisition.

Fisker plans to make the Ocean available for purchase starting at $37,499—before the potential discount of the EV tax credit—or for lease for $379 a month.

READ MORE: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1129974_no-vw-thing-fisker-ocean-electric-suv-to-be-built-by-magna

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