Tesla No Longer Accepts Fisker Ocean Trade-Ins

By automotive-mag.com 9 Min Read

As the Fisker ship continues to deal with rocky waters, owners of the cars may start looking for a spare lifeboat. Those looking to ditch their cars are finding it unexpectedly difficult to offload them—even at a loss.

Welcome to Critical Materials, your daily roundup for all things EV and automotive tech. Today, we’re talking about Tesla pressing pause on Fisker trade-ins, the unexpected maintenance woes of EV owners and dealerships, and the auto industry’s take on the new EPA regulations. Let’s dig in.

30%: Tesla Presses Pause On Fisker Ocean Trade-Ins

Tesla, the king of fluctuating vehicle prices, has apparently decided to no longer accept Fisker vehicles as trade-in due to market volatility—at least temporarily.

A notice from Tesla spotted by a Reddit user indicates that Tesla has stopped taking the Fisker Ocean as a trade towards Tesla-branded vehicles amid the brand imploding.

From Reddit:

Effective immediately, we are temporarily suspending acceptance of Fisker Ocean trade-ins. This is due to significant market uncertainty on Fisker Ocean vehicles that have disrupted the expected values of these vehicles. 

We are closely monitoring available market data and will provide an update on next steps as soon as market stability returns and accurate information becomes available. 

Fisker recently slashed prices on its EVs as much as $24,000 as a life-saving measure to grab cash as its reported deal with Nissan fell through. This move effectively priced the lowest-trimmed Fisker Ocean at $24,999, or the absolute cheapest brand-new EV for sale in the U.S. market right now. It also caused a large number of owners with loans to go upside-down due to an instant drop in vehicle value.

Tesla is no stranger to cutting the costs of its vehicles. Hell, it cut the price of the Model S $21,000 overnight just last year. But it would appear that Tesla sees the writing on the wall and—much like current owners—doesn’t want to be left holding the bag if vehicle values continue to plummet.

In addition to Tesla, CarMax, Carvana, and TrueCar are also not providing instant quotes for the Fisker Ocean at this time. I guess you could say that Fisker finally disrupted the market.

60%: EV Owners And Dealers Not Excited About Some Areas Of Service

Tesla Model Y Tire

Remember when EVs were sold as maintenance-free appliances? I can recall early adopters bragging about just needed washer fluid, the occasional tire change, and maybe brake pads sometime in the vehicle’s lifetime. Turns out that EV maintenance has become a blessing and a curse for both owners and dealerships.

According to a new J.D. Power survey, EV owners have noticed that their tires are wearing much more quickly than their previous gasoline cars. 

Tire wear is a big deal. These big bands of rubber are not only expensive, but they’re also responsible for a large pollution output from EVs. In fact, studies claim that tires on heavier EVs can release up to 20% more chemicals and microplastics than gasoline-powered counterparts—enough to prompt an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Part of this problem has also been owners not needing oil changes, which is when tires are frequently rotated. 

Ashley Edgar, J.D. Power’s senior director of benchmarking and alternative mobility, says that tire wear is a current market compromise that both tire manufacturers and automakers need to overcome:

Because of the inherit conflict of maximizing vehicle range and optimizing tire wear for EVs, tire manufacturers and automakers need to work together to overcome the challenge without completely sacrificing tire performance in other areas, especially as the EV market continues to increase.

On the dealership side, faster-wearing tires present a service opportunity. A whitepaper outlining the future of EV-centric dealer services pushed dealerships towards investing in tire sales, calling it “the new oil change.”

That doesn’t mean that dealers are excited about servicing EVs, though. In fact, the reception has been quite tepid at best. The same whitepaper explored the feelings of 200 dealership service managers about the addition of EV service, and while 42% of dealers felt positive about the future of EV service, none were “exactly jumping up and down about it.”

Dealers hypothesize that EVs will crease an uptick in warranty service more than they will create additional service opportunities. But they also recognize that general maintenance—tire rotations, alignments, wiper blades, windshield replacements, and more—will still be needed and help to increase service revenue.

“The need for those kinds of things isn’t going away,” said Jeff Daniel, a service director at a Michigan auto group, in an interview with Automotive News. “It’s premature to think about service departments running out of work. EVs are not perfect vehicles—they still break down.”

90%: Automakers Have “Daunting” Tasks Ahead Of 2032 EV Adoption

Faraday Future FF 91 during EPA range testing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has heard the auto industry’s cries for a more lenient transition towards tighter tailpipe emissions targets over the next decade. After industry lobbying groups like the Alliance for Automotive Innovation called the preliminary rules “neither reasonable nor achievable,” the EPA has recently published a merciful final ruling to cover emission targets that automakers must hit between 2027 and 2032.

The new targets still require that automakers cut vehicle emissions by 49% over the next 8 years, however, that target has been reduced from the original proposal’s call for a 56% reduction. Across all manufacturers, this would mean scaling down from 68% of all new car sales being EVs to a combination of at least 50% plug-in and battery-electric. Despite the inch of change, auto industry wants a mile.

Alliance for Automotive Innovation president and CEO John Bozzella, says that the final ruling has “very ambitious and daunting targets. There’s no sugarcoating that,” according to a Reuters report. 

Bozzella says that the Biden Administration has chosen to scale back its initial proposal due to the “choppy EV retain environment” along with an inadequate public charging environment. Automakers appear to be pleased that the transition towards electrification is more gradual, but the fight against these regulations isn’t over yet. Despite the positive public press towards the EPA regulations, InsideEVs has heard whispers at the New York International Auto Show that the industry is still set on fighting the EPA’s ruling.

Publicly, some may be setting the framework for that now. Hyundai’s Global Chief Operating Officer, Jose Munoz, called the revised standards “a little bit less demanding but still challenging” as the automaker pledges to invest $51 billion into its EV expansion this week

Volkswagen Group of America CEO, Pablo Di Si, called the rules “extremely tough,” and that they automaker has no plans to change “one product launch” due to the revised rules.

100%: Has Your EV Been In The Shop?

Lucid Air Dream Edition at a service center (Millbrae, CA)

I’m a year into my EV journey and I’ve got to say, my maintenance thus far has been extremely light. Outside of washer fluid, all I’ve needed so far (knock on wood) is a set of tires. Granted, I didn’t expect to blow through a set of $600-a-piece Pirelli P-Zeros in 13,000 miles, but that speaks to the above point about unexpected tire wear.

I know others haven’t been as lucky though. I’ve read stories of plenty of unexpected maintenance and repairs, and now I want to read yours. Let me know in the comments what your experience has been with EV maintenance and repairs.

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