Alum Henrik Fisker makes electric cars cool

by October 19th, 2012

Fisker Karma and Henrik Fisker

Electric cars have their criticisms: failing batteries, lack of plug-ins and egg-shaped designs.

Design veteran and Art Center alum Henrik Fisker — who worked on the BMW Z8 roadster and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage — recently told the Wall Street Journal there’s not a “huge” market for electric cars.

Interestingly, Fisker has also spent the past seven years designing one.

Since leaving Aston Martin in 2005, the Danish-born designer raised more than $1.2 billion to start his own company. Fisker Automotive last year launched its only product, the aptly named Fisker Karma, the world’s first luxury, electric, extended-range vehicle at a price tag of $100,000.

About 1,500 Karma models have sold in the U.S. and Europe (high-profile customers include Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber) and the company has plans to expand into Dubai and China.

Although Karma has already outsold Maserati’s Quattroporte, Fisker doesn’t see his success as a sign that drivers will give up on gas.

“If you live here in London and you live in an apartment, where are you going to plug it in?” he said.

Still, Fisker has plans to produce a range of vehicles, including a four-wheel-drive and perhaps one day a boat.

“As more people move to the cities around the world, the pressure is going to be on how we reduce pollution,” he said. “So we have to find a way where we can still have our individual mobility, because we love cars, but we don’t have to drive around in white eggs, with just 20 horsepower…”

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