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Summary:

Electric car startup Fisker Automotive says it won’t be producing its second car the Atlantic until at least the end of 2014, or early 2015. Is it moving into the realm of vaporware?

Fisker's Project Nina, later called the Atlantic, which was never manufactured.

About a year ago Fisker was shooting to manufacture its second electric car — then called Project Nina and now called the Atlantic — starting in 2012, and at a volume of 75,000 to 100,000 per year. Well, that was before it temporarily suspended work on the project. But in a conference call Monday (hat tip Green Car Reports) Fisker said it doesn’t expect to deliver the Atlantic until at least late 2014, and perhaps into 2015.

Fisker unveiled a design prototype of the Atlantic back in April, but at the time, the company didn’t give many details on price and launch date. Fisker just said the car would be priced in the range of an Audi A5 and BMW 3 series, which would be less than its $100,000 first electric car the Karma. Fisker Chief Design Officer Henrik Fisker (and former CEO) also said at the time that the car had already been 90 percent developed.

To get Fisker to this point of being able to deliver its second car no earlier than two years from now, Fisker has raised a jaw-dropping $1.2 billion in funds. The company’s fund raising was managed by investment firm Advanced Equities, and venture investors include Kleiner Perkins and NEA.

Henrik Fisker told the Wall Street Journal that “the car industry is probably the most capital-intensive industry in the world. That is why we don’t see a lot of new car companies launched, let alone succeed.” He also tells the paper that in the long term the company could be looking for “an original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, partner to come on board to help increase expansion.”

I had a bet with an auto exec on whether or not the Atlantic (then called Nina) was going to be vaporware or not. I thought Fisker could probably get it out onto the market, though my betting partner was far more negative. What do you guys think? Is the Atlantic vaporware?

The battery supplier for Fisker’s first car the Karma, A123 Systems, also had some unfortunate news today, that it has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company’s two factories that make electric car batteries will be bought by Johnson Controls. Fisker tells me in an email:

Fisker welcomes the prospect of JCI, a recognized and strong Tier One supplier with which we already have a relationship, acquiring A123’s automotive operations in order to continue production of the battery pack that we currently use on the Karma to supplement our existing inventory, which is expected to cover our needs through at least the first quarter 2013.

  1. To break oil dependency, innovation and entrepreneurship is essential. Fisker lines are streamlined and sporty while being a 4 door/4 seater, the interior and outside finish are superb and after much indecision, purchased one. So far extremely pleased with it, haven’t set sight on a gas station in seven weeks and like the option of gasoline when needed. Just ran into a Fisker owner who has the small, sports model and has had it for two/three years. Hi only complaint was the size. Well, neither the car nor him changed sizes from the original purchase date and he is a tall man. So, with that being his only issue, I felt much better with my Fisker purchase.

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