Trucks & SUVs

Karma Teases EV Pickup For 2021

Everything’s coming up electrified pickups so why not Karma? Oh, you don’t know Karma? It was formed from the ashes of the Fisker sedan ruins. Surprisingly, there was enough left to actually make a company from. Now it’s setting its sights on the hyper hot electric pickup segment.

Is there a large market for a Karma EV Pickup?

True, the segment is only estimated to hit 75,000 vehicles a year sold by 2026. But here’s the deal; it takes a lot less development and time to put together an electric vehicle than it takes to do an internal combustion vehicle. Why? Because there are a lot fewer parts, and the motors and battery packs used in these systems are available from different manufacturers. 

There is no transmission because you don’t need them. So, you’re developing a basic electrified layout, designing a body, and make it able to be manufactured. It’s more complicated than that, but that is the difference in a nutshell. So back to Karma.

Karma Automotive EV Pickup Concept | Karma
Karma Automotive EV Pickup Concept | Karma

Karma has been manufacturing the Karma Revero sedan which is the previous Fisker sedan. But it has also been putting together other divisions under the Karma Group banner. So, Karma has been developing an empire, if you can call it that, rather than its next model.

Karma will expand beyond EV pickup production

The Karma Automotive division is the one responsible for the manufacturing of the Revero. There is also Karma Technology, Karma Design, Karma Innovation and Customization Center, and Karma Capital. Karma Technology is the division developing the EREV truck. 

Dr. Lance Zhou, the Karma CEO, says that the teased pickup image is a proof-of-concept for EV powertrain development to “demonstrate what Karma Technology can do for other companies.” Essentially Karma is offering to help other companies with EV development, much like Rivian is doing with Ford Motor Co.

Earlier in the year, Ford invested $500 million into startup Rivian to help Ford jumpstart EV truck development. So the Karma Technology division would function in a similar fashion for other companies looking to get into the electrified vehicle market. It’s a market we don’t have to tell you is going crazy right now. 

Zhou continued, “Extended-range powertrains represent a smart alternative to full battery systems, especially in larger vehicles used by businesses and fleets.” The concept is indicating a solar roof panel, so Karma is thinking beyond current state-of-the-art EV technology for extended range applications. 

The Karma concept pickup is a Raptor on steroids

With the low roofline and blistered fenders, the image is more Raptor on steroids than a fleet work truck. Nonetheless, we love what we’re seeing. Work trucks aren’t sexy, and the teaser looks dynamic. If Karma is working toward a “skateboard” platform as other EV startups are doing, then it could be on the verge of producing multiple models with the common skateboard foundation. 

How solid or speculative this all is we don’t know. But it seems as though Karma’s ambitions are pretty big. That’s a plus for the industry as a whole. Vehicle manufacturing is going through a major shift right now. Where in the past it was impossible for a new manufacturer to get established-think Kaiser, Tucker, Bricklin, and DeLorean; now we are seeing multiple upstarts with ambitious goals and vehicles in the chute. 

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