California's Karma Automotive is planning an electric pickup and SUV of its own.
Karma Automotive, the electric vehicle company born from the ashes of the shuttered Fisker Automotive, is fixing to go head-to-head with EV startup Rivian.
The now-Chinese-owned company plans to produce battery-electric pickup truck and SUV models of its own. The pickup was first teased in November 2019, when the automotive startup released an image of a chiseled, futuristic-looking truck mostly obscured by shadow. According to Bloomberg, a concept version will be shown toward the end of the year.
The same architecture that underpins the forthcoming truck will also be used for a luxury electric SUV, creating direct competition for Rivian's forthcoming R1T pickup and R1S SUV.
Of course, it isn't just Rivian that Karma will be going up against; pure-electric pickup truck models are also on the way from the likes of Tesla, Bollinger, and Lordstown Motors Corp., not to mention established automotive giants Ford and General Motors. Karma's electric SUV could face as much competition from Tesla's Model X, Ford's Mustang Mach-E, and Audi's e-tron as it does the Rivian R1S.
But despite the competition, Karma Chief Operating Officer Kevin Pavlov is optimistic, telling Bloomberg the company "can can bring a utility vehicle into the market and be differentiated." He says the pickup will be priced below the $135,000 Revero - Karma Automotive's updated version of the hybrid Fisker Karma sedan.
The AWD electric platform that will underpin Karma's pickup and SUV will be produced at the company's southern California plant, and the company will try to license its electric and autonomous technologies to other automakers. That, too, is an approach being taken by Rivian, which has already secured a deal to build a luxury electric utility vehicle for Ford Motor Company.
No matter what, Karma Automotive will need to find new sources of revenue; the company sold just 1,000 or so examples of the Revero last year, and traditional sedans are far from a safe bet in today's automotive climate. The company's future pickup and SUV can't come soon enough.