Henrik Fisker said in October that his upcoming Tesla rival would be powered by revolutionary new battery tech, but the renowned designer is scrapping the project.
Fisker had said the luxury, electric car would be able to drive over 400 miles on a single charge thanks to a battery tech project he was pursuing through a joint venture with Nanotech Energy, a group of researchers hailing from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Nanotech Energy, however, has parted ways with Fisker’s newly minted electric car company, Fisker Inc. Fisker confirmed the news to Business Insider, which was first reported by Automotive News.
Fisker will instead source battery cells from LG Chem for the electric sedan, dubbed the Fisker EMotion, which is scheduled to launch in 2019. The battery-powered car will still be able to achieve a 400-mile range, Fisker said in an interview.
“There’s always sceptics out there and of course there are no guarantees when you innovate and try what nobody else has done,” Fisker said.
Nanotech Energy is researching using graphene supercapacitors with traditional lithium-ion batteries to create a “super battery” with better storage and faster charge times.
The energy applications of graphene have been known for quite some time. In 2010, the Nobel Prize in physics went to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov for pioneering research on graphene that opened the door for scientists to study its many applications, like its potential as a battery that can conduct energy better and charge faster.
The technology, however, has never been used because graphene is both difficult and expensive to produce on a mass scale.
“As we’ve moved into more significant testing, we can see that the graphene enhancement in the lithium-ion battery is not ready or won’t be ready for 2019,” Fisker said.
Fisker Inc. will instead use cells sourced from LG Chem in a battery pack that has been designed internally. Fisker claims the sedan will still boast rapid charging capabilities (125-mile range in nine minutes) and drive at least 400 miles on a single charge.
“We have also been working on and testing other potential battery solutions because we wanted to make sure we had a fully certified battery for our launch in 2019,” Fisker said.
Fisker has pushed the reveal date for the sedan from August to late September. The designer said he is currently looking at manufacturing facilities in the US to produce the car.
Fisker is best known as the automotive designer behind iconic cars like the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9. The EMotion, however, isn’t his first stab at an electric car.
Fisker Automotive was the force behind an electric hybrid called the Fisker Karma in 2012. The $US100,000 car had a host of battery issues that caused the automaker and its battery supplier, A123 Systems, to recall more than 600 Karmas, Wired reported at the time.
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