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The Karma GS-6 model is an odd duck that can be somewhat confusing in terms of classification due to accidental or willful promotions. Founded in 2014, Karma has an interesting history, but the most notable change was when Karma introduced GS-6, a revised version of the Revero GT.

The Revero GT was excellent, but with a base price of $130,000, the car faced an uphill battle in a tight market full of well-established competitors like Porsche. Two years after the release of the Revero GT, the manufacturer revised Revero and offered the GS-6 with a drastic price drop of nearly $50,000.

The luxury model has stylish outlooks and accessories, impressive performance, and phenomenal driving dynamics. However, one question confuses many: Is the GS-6 a PHEV or a full EV?

Karma GS-6 — a luxury hybrid with an unintrusive gas-electric transition

A Karma GS-6 hybrid executive sedan/luxury car model parked near a row of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
The Karma GS-6 | Karma Automotive

As eluded to, the Karma GS-6 is the affordable version of the Karma Revero GT. Two years after founding Karma Automotives, the company released the 2016 Karma Revero and revised it in 2019. According to TopSpeed, the car’s starting price was high and could go up to $155,000. However, in 2021, Karma released the Karma GS-6, which saw a considerable cost reduction.

While the cost reduction was huge, the GS-6 wasn’t a step down from the Revero GT. GS-6 maintained impressive performance, spellbinding design, and outstanding looks to offer an authentic experience.

According to MotorTrend, Karma GS-6 has a 28kWh battery pack and dual-electric motor configuration mounted on the rear axle. Besides the electric motor, the car has a gas engine sourced from BMW that serves as a range extender. The 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine and a full charge can deliver over 350 miles of driving range. Karma says the car can go from 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds. However, the powertrain configuration of the GS-6 confuses potential buyers about the car’s category.

What’s the classification of the GS-6 — an EV or PHEV?

The Karma GS-6 is technically a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), a type of electric car, but not a full one. However, some argue that the GS-6 is an EV with a range extender instead of a proper PHEV.

Edmunds says that classifying GS-6 as EV is inappropriate, as EV cars are solely powered by an electric motor that relies on rechargeable batteries to store electricity to power the motor. Unlike a typical EV, the GS-6 has an electric motor and a gasoline engine. The car operates in two modes: electric-only and hybrid. The electric mode relies on a rechargeable battery powered by the engine, and the hybrid mode uses an electric motor and a gasoline engine.

The Karma GS-6 is more of a PHEV than an EV with a range extender

U.S. News describes a range extender as a gasoline engine that generates electricity to power an electric motor in EVs to increase driving range. The car expert says the difference between a PHEV and an EV with a range extender is how the car uses its power source to propel the vehicle.

Plug-in hybrids use gas as primary power and electric power as a supplement, while EVs with a range extender use electricity as their main power source and the engine as an extender.

While the Karma GS-6 offers a lot more driving range than most PHEVs, most of its driving range is from its gasoline engine, making it more of a PHEV than an electric car with a range extender.

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