Fisker Seeks Approval For Firesale Of Remaining EVs

Fisker's Ocean SUV. Image credit: Fisker

Fisker asks bankruptcy judge for permission to sell remaining Ocean SUV at just $14,000 per EV, down from $70,000

The tragic downfall of a notable electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer has been demonstrated this week with a firesale of its remaining EV stock.

Reuters reported that Fisker has asked a bankruptcy judge overseeing its Chapter 11 proceedings to approve the sale of more than 3,000 Ocean electric SUVs in its inventory for about $14,000 per car to a vehicle-leasing company.

Fisker had entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, after the EV maker had already halted vehicle production, and had drastically slashed prices in the US by over 50 percent (it had reportedly cut the price of its EV vehicles from $70,000 to just $30,000 and below).

Fisker's Ocean SUV. Image credit: Fisker
Fisker’s Ocean SUV. Image credit: Fisker

EV firesale

Now according to Reuters, Fisker has asked a bankruptcy judge overseeing its Chapter 11 proceedings to approve the sale of more than 3,000 Ocean electric SUVs to a vehicle-leasing company.

If Fisker gains the approval from the judge, it will be able to offload 3,321 electric vehicles to New York-based American Lease for $46.25 million, according to a court filing on Tuesday.

Reuters noted that some variants of its Ocean SUV were priced at around $70,000 and through its descent into bankruptcy, it cut prices of the cheapest variant to about $25,000 to raise capital to meet debt obligations.

On 30 May, two weeks before Fisker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, American Lease had reportedly agreed to buy 2,100 Ocean EVs and a month later increased that offer to buy all 3,321 Oceans that were ready for sale.

American Lease serves ride share drivers in and around New York City, providing a fleet of cars on lease or rent.

New York City last year mandated the transition of the city’s rideshare fleet to either zero-emission vehicles or wheelchair accessible vehicles by 2030, Reuters reported.

Chapter 11

It has been a steady decline for Fisker.

In January 2024 after delivering less than half of the 10,000 plus vehicles it had produced last year, Fisker turned to a dealership-based distribution model, and abandoned the direct-to-consumer approach pioneered by Tesla.

Then in February Fisker had signalled it was experiencing difficulties and also failed to secure an investment from a big name car maker (reportedly Nissan), forcing it to reduce its operations.

Matters were not helped after a high profile review by tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee had dubbed the Fisker Ocean EV (Version 1) the worst car he had ever reviewed, after he had highlighted a number of troubling software and hardware issues.

Fisker’s Chapter 11 filing estimated that its assets are between $500 million and $1 billion.

The filing estimated that its liabilities are between $100 million and $500 million, with between 200 and 999 creditors.

Its 20 largest creditors reportedly include Adobe, Alphabet’s Google and SAP.

Bankrupt EV makers

This is now the second failure for Danish car designer Henrik Fisker.

His first attempt to start an electric car company was called Fisker Automotive Inc, but it ended in 2013, after a battery failure for the Fisker Karma resulted in a huge recall.

Fisker Automotive had raised over $1 billion from private investors, as well as a $529 million loan from the federal government, but Fisker Automotive missed crucial production targets, causing that loan to be suspended in 2011.

Other EV makers have also filed for bankruptcy protection, including Lordstown Motors in the September 2023. In March 2024, it emerged from bankruptcy restructuring as Nu Ride Inc, based in New York City.

Other EV makers that have filed for bankruptcy in the past two years include Proterra and Electric Last Mile Solutions.