Fisker, Inc. has announced its second model called the PEAR EV, and it is taking reservations starting at $250 a pop, with the MSRP starting at around $30,000. Could this be the closest thing we’ll have to inexpensive, small-company EV transportation? As with any news, predictions, and visions from startups, it needs to be filtered through a screen of skepticism.
PEAR stands for Personal Automotive Electric Revolution and it will be what the California-based brand calls an agile urban EV. It starts at $29,995 before taxes and government incentives (we believe that is before destination charges, but we are still awaiting confirmation from Fisker), which would instantly make it one of the most affordable electric cars in the American market. For the sake of comparison, the 2023 Mini Cooper SE Hardtop claims 114 miles of range and will start at $30,750 with destination costs, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt claims 259 miles of range for $32,495 with destination, the 2022 Mazda MX-30 claims 100 miles of range for $34,695 with destination, and the 2022 Nissan Leaf with the 40-kWh battery claims up to 149 miles of range for $28,425 with destination. Those prices are also before any incentives.
Fisker hasn’t revealed much of what the PEAR will look like besides the above bird-eye angle. Will it look like a giant Mitsubishi i-Miev, Johnny Cab, or possibly that one Citroen that can topple over a little too easily? We don’t know just yet, but hopefully none of the above.
As far as what you get for this price, Fisker has only specified that it will be a five-seater, and the press release has a sort of “here’s how to reserve one, get hyped” vibe. However, taking a look at pricing on the company’s Ocean EV SUV, which is set to debut this year, might give us some context. The base Ocean Sport trim lists with a claimed 250 miles of range, a single-motor front-wheel-drive (FWD) powertrain, and some tech niceties like a 17.1-inch touchscreen, multi-collision braking, a sunroof, automatic emergency braking, a digital rearview mirror, and an app that acts as a key. It also has two driving modes: Earth and Fun. I want to make fun of this, but I respect the company’s plan for doing something other than Eco and Sport.
Thus, to hedge a tad, the PEAR might possess some of those figures and amenities, just trimmed down. Because Fisker is calling it an agile urban EV, I the range might be knocked down to 100-150 miles, possibly less. It might retain the same single-motor FWD powertrain, and even be based on the same chassis as the Ocean to keep production costs low. Infotainment and safety tech amenities might mirror the Ocean, too, as surely the hardware and software costs are worth packing into a base vehicle with “Revolution” in its name. The company also hid this message on one of the promotional images:
“We pulled designers from every area at the company and started to research what are the needs of someone living in a large urban center. In the city, parking is tight and you can’t open your hatch, your gym bag smells, your pizza is getting cold, you sit there wasting gas in traffic, you want to quickly send a message that you’re running late, etc. We identified things that are annoying, things that add friction, things that take up time you can’t afford to give up. Then we started to work on what are all of the benefits we can provide through the design and innovation in our vehicle. Things that will make our lives better, easier, less complicated.”
But will the PEAR actually happen? Fisker, with a proposed plan to begin deliveries in 2024, is building it in partnership with Foxconn, the company that reportedly suspended its partnership with Chinese EV startup Byton, according to Electrive.com. This shift came even after pricing was announced for its co-tailored product, the M-Byte.
Perhaps this all depends on whether the Ocean will indeed reach customers’ driveways. The PEAR could be a great step forward in making EV tech more accessible to everyone. Or, it might go the way of other acronym-named tech developments, like HAL and WOPR, and never leave the pages of fiction.
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