Jul 10, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicle startup Fisker could go public

A Fisker car emblem

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Fisker, one of the many electric-vehicle startups with big plans to make cars but no actual production yet, could soon become a public company.

Why it matters: If Fisker has a successful public launch, it'll be yet another sign that the market hive-mind sees something in electric-vehicle startups that aren't yet reflected in their actual financials.

Driving the news: Reuters reported Thursday that Fisker is in talks to start trading via sale to a so-called blank check acquisition company — essentially an already public firm that Fisker would inhabit.

  • The reported discussions come after Nikola Motors, an electric and hydrogen fuel cell truck company, started trading via such a transaction last month and saw its shares quickly soar.
  • Nikola hasn't started building trucks. Fisker doesn't plan production of its SUV until 2022.
  • Tesla is a relative graybeard, but it has an astonishing market cap (around $260 billion, largest in the whole auto industry) even though it's not yet consistently profitable.

The bottom line: Electric vehicle startups remain a tiny share of the market, but the ability of companies to attract investor interest — indeed Fisker just raised another $50 million and Karma Automotive just raised another $100 million — underscores how the transition is underway, and investors want in early.

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