Fisker started customer deliveries of its Ocean electric SUV last week in Europe, with the first vehicle delivered to a buyer in Denmark.
The EV startup also delivered the second Ocean EV in Germany yesterday, and the customer is none other than Henrik Fisker, the company’s founder and CEO. While everything seems to be working as planned if you follow Fisker’s press releases and social media updates, a Bloomberg report paints a different picture.
Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, the publication writes that the EV startup is facing delays on delivering its debut electric SUV to customers because of software integration problems.
Two people speaking on condition of anonymity said the Fisker Ocean’s software needs more testing and troubleshooting. They said the software is currently prone to glitches, estimating the issues could take months to solve. As a result, the sources said some vehicles are only using a more basic software that limits the vehicles’ speed.
Gallery: Fisker Ocean Production Model
Fisker strongly denied this claim in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. “We categorically deny that the Fisker Ocean can be driven at only low speeds,” the company said, adding that the vehicle’s “software will be updated over-the-air during the year” after launching with a basic advanced driver-assistance system.
CEO Henrik Fisker ironized the low speed driving claim in a short video he posted on his LinkedIn page. In the clip, he is seen arriving in London for the company’s Q1 2023 earnings call in a Fisker Ocean with German plates – not his personal vehicle – and asking the driver whether the car is fitted with the slow-driving software.
After the driver replies negatively, Fisker says, “I guess we’re gonna have to make that in an OTA update.”
Joking aside, it’s worth mentioning that one of the sources told Bloomberg the first Fisker Ocean SUV delivered last week to a customer in Denmark is already on its way back to the Magna Steyr plant in Austria as the software problems allegedly rendered it inoperable.
Interestingly, Fisker did not refute this claim in its statement. It would be easy for the company to dismiss these claims simply by filming the first Ocean customer car driving at full speed and demonstrate the most important functions of the infotainment system.
Developing reliable EV software is a challenge not only for EV startups like Fisker but also for industry giants like Volkswagen Group. The German automaker yesterday announced the restructuring of its Cariad software division and appointed a new leader.
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