The new and as yet unnamed electric SUV under development by Fisker Inc. will directly challenge the Tesla Model Y crossover electric SUV unveiled the other week.

Fisker Inc. founder and CEO Henrik Fisker, the man who designed the Aston Martin DB9 before moving on to electric vehicles (EVs), has announced plans to build the factory that will make his “affordable” battery-electric SUV meant to challenge the Tesla Model Y.  By affordable, Fisker means a price tag of under $40,000 for his first true battery electric vehicle (BEV).

Fisker described his new electric crossover SUV as a "futuristic, elegant muscular EV” when he first took the wraps off this project last week. He now says a search is underway for a factory site to house a robotic facility that can start producing his electric SUV by the second half of 2021. Fisker said eight states are vying, and he hopes to pick a site in May or June.

Fisker said his SUV’s 80 kW battery pack will give the vehicle a driving range of 480 km (300 miles) on a single charge. He hopes to have a “fully driveable” prototype available for analysts, investors and journalists to test by the end of this year.

Fisker’s first EV isn’t this new SUV but the Fisker EMotion which he revealed at the CES 2018 tech show in Las Vegas. This ultra luxury sports car featuring “wide sculptural shoulders, thin taillight tubes, wide trunk opening, and aggressive lower rear diffuser to improve aerodynamics” was to have begun shipping in 2018.

This deadline, obviously, wasn’t met and Fisker says that’s because he decided to produce his SUV first before the pricier EMotion. The sports car with the butterfly doors and a 400 mile range would have retailed for a truly hefty $129,000.

“We decided to push back to focus on this project (the Emotion),” said Fisker, in favor of a more mainstream SUV “that will go for less money but which should generate more revenues.”

Fisker electric SUV Fisker electric SUV teased image Photo: Fisker Inc.

Fisker wants a starting price of “below $40,000” for his SUV but a price this affordable might land him in the same world of hurt Tesla experienced when it decided to begin production of the affordable $35,000 Model S.

Fisker, however, wants to persist in this goal and says his company “will have a big advantage” over Tesla “if the tax credit stays.”

BEVs in the U.S. qualify for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits, which begins to phase out once a manufacturer hits a 200,000 sales threshold. Tesla’s Model S no longer enjoys this federal tax incentive.