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Karma Automotive to offer modular electric powertrains for commercial trucks

Karma Automotive has announced at Advanced Clean Tech (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California that it will launch modular all-electric powertrains for commercial vehicles. Called Powered by Karma, the new engineering and contract manufacturing arm will focus on electrified solutions and services for its customers. This is the next evolution of Karma Automotive’s business-to-business (B2B) programs. The company will use the ACT Expo to reveal two of its battery-electric projects.

Using its expertise in electrified powertrains, manufacturing, and engineering, Karma Automotive will provide flexible solutions for customers in the mobility space. Powered by Karma will build modular electric powertrains for Class 3 to 6 vehicles, which includes RVs, step vans, and box trucks. This operation appears to be based out of the Karma Innovation and Customization Center (KICC). KICC is Karma Automotive’s main production location for everything from its GS-6 and Revero luxury plug-in hybrids to low-speed commercial vehicles built under a contract for other companies.

Karma boasts that since its founding in 2014, its vehicles have accumulated over 7.5 million real-world miles on its existing fleet of vehicles. That has given it plenty of data to utilize for improving its lineup of plug-in hybrid and full battery-electric vehicles. It will also implement learnings from cars on the road to current and future electrification projects like the next evolution of its series hybrid and EV powertrains.

“As a progressive, tech-forward company, Karma is committed to seeking out relationships with like-minded businesses that push the EV envelope,” said Dr. Lance Zhou, CEO of Karma Automotive. “Electrification is quickly becoming the new standard for commercial and fleet vehicles, and we have vast experience in producing hybrid and pure electric propulsion systems to meet our customers’ needs.”

At the ACT Expo, Karma will have the GS-6 and a Class 4 to 6 walk-in van on display. There will also be an opportunity to ride and drive in a class 3 to 4 shuttle bus at the event. Powered by Karma’s modular all-electric powertrain for Class 3 to 6 vehicles will be available in standard, medium, and long-range options. It will also come with flexible propulsion and accessory hardware and software based on the type of model it will power. Karma claims that this powertrain is capable of up to 200 kW or 268 hp based on how it’s tuned. Torque ratings can reach up to 1800 nm or 1,328 lb-ft, according to the company. The top speed is limited to 80 mph and will feature three levels of regenerative braking. These vehicles are also capable of climbing up steep grades of up to 30 percent.

This isn’t Karma’s first foray into commercial vehicles. It recently produced the all-electric Club Car Current for AYRO Inc at KICC in Moreno Valley, California. That vehicle is powered by a 13.4-hp electric motor and an 8.64-kWh battery. The all-electric Club Car Current is certified for up to 35 mph and has a payload of up to 850 pounds.

On the consumer vehicles front, Karma has opened reservations for the GSe-6, its first all-electric model. It features multiple battery pack options including a 110-kWh lithium-ion unit and an estimated range of up to 300 miles per charge. Like the standard GS-6, the GSe-6 will have two electric motors but both will be mounted on the rear axles instead of one on each end. Pricing for the GSe-6 will start at $79,900 but power figures haven’t been released yet.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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