Massively Hyped Tesla Rival EV Gets Blistering Report from Consumer Reports: ‘Nauseating,’ ‘Unfinished,’ ‘Buggy’

Massively Hyped Tesla Rival EV Gets Blistering Report from Consumer Reports: ‘Nauseating,’ ‘Unfinished,’ ‘Buggy’

The most famous person to have bought a car bearing the name of EV pioneer Henrik Fisker is a failson crackhead who secured the money to purchase the sports car through shady foreign connections. He might have been the perfect client for the man.

Alas, Hunter Biden parted ways with the $142,000 Fisker Karma sports car and went with a Porsche, instead. That iteration of Fisker Automotive, best known for being Tesla’s earliest rival in the EV space, would soon go out of business because the quality-impaired, massively expensive Karma only sold a little under 2,500 units, making the DeLorean and Yugo seem like veritable runaway successes.

But, Fisker was apparently inspired by Thomas Edison’s famous (although probably apocryphal) quote: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He’s back in business, this time with the more affordable Fisker Ocean — a quirky EV crossover that starts at under $40,000 and has generated a lot of pre-production press in the automotive industry since it was announced in 2020.

Well, the reviews are beginning to come in, and we can say this much about Henrik Fisker and his efforts in the electric vehicle department: He has now apparently found 10,001 ways that won’t work.

In an excoriating review that compared the Ocean to being “like ordering pizza at a new, buzzy restaurant, only to get a pie with undercooked dough and no sauce because the tomatoes are still growing,” Consumer Reports described the car as “unfinished” and “buggy,” with a breaking motion that feels “nauseating,”  according to Carscoops.

This isn’t the first time that the Ocean has gotten slammed by a major influencer in the EV sphere. Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee, who also reviews electric vehicles, simply titled his video on the Ocean: “This is the Worst Car I’ve Ever Reviewed.”

And keep in mind, Brownlee is an influencer — one who’s known to speak his mind even if it earns him the bad graces of certain tech companies, but an influencer nonetheless, and one who does still have to consider those graces.

Consumer Reports, meanwhile, bought the Ocean outright, meaning they don’t have to worry about access or anything like that. And the pull quotes from the initial impressions that Carscoops featured from CR’s “First Drive” report, published Wednesday, were outright brutal.

On paper, the Ocean was supposed to be part of a wave of affordable EVs that would soon start replacing gas-powered cars. And, indeed, CR’s Keith Barry noted that “the concept looked good on paper — an all-electric compact SUV with 360 miles of range and a starting price of $38,900.”

However, he noted that one ought “to be careful about buying from any startup brand, especially one whose founder already has one failed car company on his resume.” He wasn’t lying.

For instance, take tech goodies like lane-keep assist and a blind-spot warning system, part of what’s supposed to be an advanced suite of safety features for the car.

When it arrived, everything was working fine, Consumer Reports said. The next day, not so much.

“It’s inexcusable that safety and other features promised on the Ocean’s window sticker come and go, with their absences only occasionally accompanied by warning messages,” the magazine said, per Carscoops.

There’s also the car’s regenerative braking system, which returns power to the batteries every time you slow the car. It’s apparently a bit, um, unrefined, with adjustments via the car’s touchscreen controls not being the easiest in the world to navigate, either. One tester called the braking experience “nauseating.”

In fact, this isn’t uncommon to EVs, as the India Times noted; regenerative braking can cause low-frequency vibrations, which can affect a passenger’s sense of balance. However, part of making the transition to EVs is smoothing out issues like this, and Fisker has raised no shortage of money, as Reuters noted last September. At the time, the company announced it had secured $150 million in additional investment on top of $550 million funding available.

(Nevertheless, it’s managed to blow through this money so fast that, as The Verge reported last month, it was in the process of being de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange for failing to keep its stock price above $1 — that’s down from $6 six months ago — and had slashed prices of the Ocean in order to raise cash fast. Where have we heard disappointments like this before in the EV startup space? Hmm…)

As for the interior, well, what do you expect? Per Carscoops, Consumer Reports said it “feels like a cheap polyester suit” and that while the suspension is soft, it still allows stiff bumps to “punch into the cabin.”

Furthermore, they complained that the destination cost of $2,438 “is by far the highest of any vehicle” the publication had ever tested, and not exactly for luxury valet service: “It feels especially high given the delivery experience,” CR complained.

Here’s the early review video:

The best thing we can say is that at least they were nicer than Mr. Brownlee was, although that’s mostly a matter of Consumer Reports being a bit more buttoned-up than your average YouTube influencer:

CR did note that “[w]ith unique features like a pull-out taco tray and a ‘California mode’ that opens nearly every panel of glass on the vehicle, including the rear window, the Ocean SUV stands out even among an increasingly quirky crop of new EVs.

“However, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened two investigations into the Ocean after owners complained about vehicles rolling away and partial loss of braking, issues which so far have allegedly resulted in two injuries,” the outlet noted.

“These and other complaints reported in the media don’t exactly inspire confidence in the product. Neither do our experiences with buggy software, features that disappear and reappear, and promises that future updates will activate options we already paid for.”

There aren’t enough taco trays in the world to make up for that.

Yet, Fisker and his new venture received tons of good press simply because they were making an EV. Never mind that, while Fisker has a track record as a competent designer of cars for other, better-established companies — the iconic BMW Z8 arguably being his masterwork — he’d already failed once as a Tesla competitor, and that was back when Tesla was a quirky startup run by some South African emigré named Alan Musk or something like that.

From the sound of things, the Ocean is the biggest failure in the EV startup roster so far, but hardly the only one. Companies like Rivian, Lucid and Canoo have built vehicles that are sometimes impressive but always overly expensive for what they are, particularly compared to internal combustion cars.

Even Tesla and other established automakers are having teething troubles with going electric, and the idea that ICEs will be phased out for these cars by 2035 is a ludicrous idea — unless, of course, you’re smoking some of what Hunter Biden was when he bought a Fisker Karma. And even he had the common sense to trade out to a Porsche. If that don’t say it all.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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