Tesla is set to unveil its long-awaited pickup truck later today but another Californian EV manufacturer, Karma, has beaten its rival, sort of.
Karma on Tuesday teased an extended-range electric pickup truck (the Tesla will be battery-electric) that the company is currently working on.
Karma has positioned itself as a luxury brand and has no plans to launch a pickup. Rather, its pickup, dubbed the EREV Conversion Project, will be used to demonstrate how Karma's extended-range electric powertrain technology can be applied to a wide range of vehicles.
“Extended-range powertrains represent a smart alternative to full battery systems, especially in larger vehicles used by businesses and fleets,” said Lance Zhou, CEO of Karma.
In addition to selling cars, Karma is looking to generate revenue from separate design and engineering consulting businesses. The company also plans to license technology, such as its extended-range electric powertrain and an upcoming battery-electric platform code-named Project e-Klipse and previewed in the Karma SC2 concept unveiled this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Project e-Klipse platform will spawn the next generation of Karma vehicles, the first of which will arrive in 2021.
“Karma is more than just a car company,” said Zhou. “Karma is a high-tech incubator, and a supplier to others who need our engineering, design, customization and manufacturing resources to speed their product development or make use of our ability to apply luxury touches.”
There's no word yet on when we'll see the EREV Conversion Project unveiled. We also don't have any specs, but it's likely the pickup will use a version of the powertrain found in Karma's Revero GT. In the luxury sedan, a pair of electric motors spin the rear axle while a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-3 acts purely as a generator to charge a battery and in some cases send electricity directly to the motors.