One of the most intriguing names to hit the market in electric vehicles this year is Fisker (FSR -10.89%). The company and its founder, Henrik Fisker, have gone through some changes throughout the years, starting with Fisker Automotive, which was sold to Wanxiang Group in 2014. But Henrik Fisker retained the Fisker trademark and logo, eventually starting the company we see today.
Fisker is easily one of the most speculative companies in electric vehicles (EVs). But it has a founder with a long track record in the auto industry and it's taking an innovative asset-light model to market. That could reduce risks and open up growth opportunities without having to spend billions of dollars on building factories. That's why Fisker is my top EV stock to buy in 2021.
A new way to build an EV company
Fisker's business model is to be the designer of the electric vehicle and leave the manufacturing and maintenance to companies with more expertise and scale. Recently, Fisker finalized a deal to have Magna International be its contract manufacturer of EVs in Europe. It has also partnered with Cox Automotive and Rivus Fleet Solutions in the U.K. to provide delivery, servicing, and fleet management services for its vehicles. It's likely the company will sign more contract deals in other markets in the next two years before the Fisker Ocean is due to hit the market.
If it's not building or servicing cars, what is Fisker actually doing? It's building a brand, providing the design of vehicles, and then selling and providing other services to customers digitally. It's an asset-light model that could be revolutionary in the auto industry.
Making the EV switch easy
The key for Fisker is designing a vehicle that's compelling for consumers and priced right. Fisker Ocean is supposed to cost as little as $37,499, with a range of 250 to 300 miles, which would make it one of the most affordable EVs on the market. But it's the lease option that has me most intrigued.
Early reports are that Fisker will offer a $379-per-month lease, which would include all maintenance and service and 30,000 miles of driving. Taking the up-front cost out of going electric could be a great path for a new company like Fisker, and that price point beats a lot of comparable internal combustion SUVs.
Growing on the back of others
What's great about Fisker's model is that it relies on others to invest in capital equipment that will drive its growth. It's analogous to how many smartphone companies operate. They do hardware design, software, branding, and sales but rarely do any of their own manufacturing.
If the strategy is successful, Fisker could grow its business and add multiple vehicle models without being limited by capacity or investing in risky manufacturing capacity. That's what makes this company so attractive long-term.
2021 will be a year of anticipation for Fisker because it doesn't even expect to deliver a product until late in 2022. But if we see reservations increase and production move forward as planned, this could be a great EV stock next year. That's why it's my top electric vehicle stock for 2021.