Image by: Fisker Automotive
By Steven Morrison II
The electric car market is still somewhat in its infancy. While it is true that two major brands currently offer electric rides (only one is completely electric), it is a far cry of where we could be or should be.
While the behemoths move slowly, smaller companies sprang up to fill the void and, much like the proverbial party,wanted to get this battery-powered automotive revolution started.
But the industry has been plagued with issues on a variety of fronts including batteries that don’t live up to their promise, bankruptcy, delivery date letdowns, shockingly high prices, a drop in gas prices and – in the case of GM and Nissan – underwhelming designs.
Fortunately for buyers, the likes of Fisker and Tesla revved up to the plate and started offering sexy exotic sports cars that just so happen to be electric vehicles. These sleek technological marvels helped turn the tide for consumers, showing them what was possible (even if the tech wasn’t yet affordable).
Unfortunately for the business side of things, neither the promise nor the potential of electric vehicles has been lived up to.
Although that may be about to change, as one of the e-car manufacturers are giving investors something to sink their teeth into. Tesla Motors (TSLA) unveiled an exciting new high-end prototype SUV which will sell for a little bit less than $70,000, bringing the price somewhat closer in line with standard gas luxury vehicles.
That’s a big step for the company named after legendary electrical engineer Nikola Tesla.
The announcement did little to quick-boost the company’s stock price, but that’s OK as TSLA has been a steady riser since October of last year gaining almost a full ten points in that stretch. The indicators are good that the American company is poised to continue climbing too, albeit it in fits and starts.
The other indie titan of electric vehicles is Fisker, which is still enjoying the distinction of having its one and only model – the Karma (shown above) – being labeled as the “Luxury Car of the Year” by BBC’s Top Gear, which is no small feat when you consider the competition.
Justin Bieber even famously owned one that was fully-plated in chrome, which he gave away as a gift (how nice).
But Fisker is in some trouble. In October, Superstorm Sandy destroyed some 300 vehicles that were waiting to be delivered from port. They’ve also had to delay production to 2014 and 2015 of some models that were already due to ramp up production. Uh oh.
And in the summer of 2012, the company halted production entirely putting their future definitely in doubt.
It is expected that Fisker will find friendly investor-saviors in China, where it has been focusing the majority of its attention. But for now, Fisker is on life support, which, incidentally, also runs on electricity.