Karma Automotive releases the 2018 Revero to compete with Tesla
【Summary】Twenty of the first, long awaited, 2018 Karma Revero hybrid electric luxury supercars from Karma Automotive have just rolled off the line at Karma’s Moreno Valley factory in southern California.
By Eric Walz
Twenty of the first, long awaited, 2018 Karma Revero hybrid electric luxury supercars from Karma Automotive have just rolled off the line at Karma's Moreno Valley factory in southern California.
To celebrate this milestone, Karma Automotive held a private "Delivery Day" ceremony attended by over 800 of its employees. "Karma has moved from a product development company to an automotive manufacturer," said Jim Taylor, Chief Revenue Officer. "We have completed the critical steps to become a true luxury vehicle OEM. With the Revero, the company hopes to compete with Tesla as a luxury, hybrid electric car manufacturer.
About Karma Automotive
Karma Automotive is a U.S. automaker owned by Chinese auto parts company Wanxiang Group, and based in Costa Mesa, California. Karma Automotive was formed in October 2015.
Wanxiang Group Corporation is a Chinese automotive components manufacturing company headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. It is the largest China-based automotive components company measured by revenues.
Propelled by a twin-motor powertrain, the upmarket Revero can go 50 miles of all-electric range and a total of 300 miles of combined gas and electric range. The base price is $130,000.
The car is a luxurious well appointed car, which includes unfinished, reclaimed driftwood for the interior trim, and minimally tanned leather. The paint comes in colors inspired by California's coastal regions, with choices such as Pacific Fog, Balboa Blue, and Ocean Veil. The massive regenerative, six piston brake calipers can be painted in bright red, orange, blue, silver, or yellow. The Karma Revero's aluminum hood and trunk badges are individually hand-painted, so each one is a unique piece of art.
The Revero's luxurious interior
The Revero has a unique solar roof for the supplemental charging of its batteries.The solar roof not only charges the 12V battery, but also charges the high-voltage battery, adding miles to the electric range. The solar roof was developed for maximum efficiency by optimizing sunlight angles. It is an industry-first.
Karma Automotive sprouted from the bankruptcy of Fisker Automotive. Fisker was founded by Henrik Fisker and his business partner Bernhard Koehler. The company's first car, the "Fisker Karma" plug-in hybrid sports sedan debuted in 2011, and about 2,000 of the vehicles were sold.
After Fisker's battery supplier A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy after two battery recalls, Fisker Automotive could not continue making its electric vehicles, and the company declared its own bankruptcy in February 2014.
Chinese auto-parts supplier Wanxiang Group purchased the assets of Fisker Automotive for $149.2 million in a bankruptcy auction. These assets included vehicle designs, a plug-in hybrid powertrain, and a manufacturing facility in Delaware. The purchase excluded the Fisker brand and trademarks owned by its founder, Henrik Fisker. Wanxiang also purchased battery maker A123 Systems following its bankruptcy declaration.
The Fisker Karma Becomes the Revero
Karma's Revero is based on the Fisker Karma, and maintains much of the original exterior and interior of the Fisker Karma, incorporating an A123 battery, charger and electrical controls.
Karma's chief revenue officer Jim Taylor stated that keeping the original design was intentional, as the company believes the original Fisker Karma still holds much appeal for consumers. "It looks similar to the prior vehicle, but the electrical system has a lot of upgrades and a lot of changes," said Jim Taylor, Karma's chief revenue officer in 2016. The first Karma Revero debuted on September 8, 2016. The company also has bigger plans.
In addition to the Karma Revero, The owner of Karma Automotive, Wanxiang Group is planning to produce electric cars in China, becoming the latest company planning to build electric vehicles in the world's largest auto market.
Last summer, Wanxiang announced plans to build an electric vehicle plant in Hangzhou, China, according to the company's application for an environmental impact review posted on its website. The investment value for the proposed project will be 2.5 billion yuan ($363 million) and the factory will have capacity to manufacture 50,000 cars a year.
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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