Tucker, Cord, Delorean—the history of the auto industry is full of entrepreneurs who set out to rethink how cars are made. Most of them went bankrupt. Henrik Fisker is looking to buck that trend, challenging Tesla, Nissan, and GM with an ambitious entry into the amped-up field of electrified autos. After conjuring up such lust-worthy machines as the Aston Martin DB9 and the BMW Z8, the designer is now CEO of his own startup, Fisker Automotive. He aims to rock the market with a gorgeous $90,000 plug-in hybrid and a business model that’s more Silicon Valley than Motown. Wired talked to Fisker about how he plans to use a big idea, a tiny staff, and an open supply chain to blow the doors off Detroit.
Wired: GM went bankrupt; Chrysler is disintegrating. Is this really a good time to start a car company?
Henrik Fisker: It’s the perfect time. Especially for an environmentally minded automaker. Governments are handing out money—in April we got a $529 million loan from the US Department of Energy—and consumers are ready to change their lifestyles in the name of the environment.