Hidden in a press release detailing its business strategy is a teaser sketch of a pickup truck, although Karma doesn’t use these words to describe it, calling it an EREV Conversion Project instead. Karma claims its goal is to demonstrate the flexibility of the company’s EREV extended range powertrain technology through a conversion “proof of concept” project.
Developed at its global headquarters in Irvine, California, the EREV Conversion Project should prove the viability of extender range powertrains “across a wide range of vehicles beyond light-duty passenger cars” and will also “demonstrate what Karma Technology can do for other companies.”
The image is obviously a preliminary sketch, but it looks promising. The pickup truck has a modern look, much like the Rivian R1T, with a short vented hood, sleek horizontal headlights, illuminated Karma logo, sporty window line with an interesting C-pillar treatment, and short bed. We can also spot solar panels on the roof, a Karma specialty.
“Extended-range powertrains represent a smart alternative to full battery systems, especially in larger vehicles used by businesses and fleets,” says Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou. It remains to be seen whether Karma will build the extended range pickup for itself or other companies – or both.
As Zhou points out, Karma Group “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.” Most likely, the truck won’t use the “Project e-Klipse” multi-vehicle battery electric platform, though. The latter will launch in 2021 and will underpin future models inspired by the SC2 Concept.