Karma Automotive, who you might know as the successor to Fisker Automotive, has been hard at work on their 2020 Revero GT has made a surprise announcement regarding their electric car platform. Karma has announced that it will be making its new E-Flex platform that the Revero GT rides one, open to partnerships to help decrease the cost of production along with R&D of new electric cars.
While the Revero GT is a plug-in luxury sedan, Karma states that the platform can be applied to a wide range of electric vehicles, such as “autonomously-driven utility vans, to ‘every-day’ driver vehicles, to high-performance supercars”.
I don’t think that I have to overstate the importance of having a versatile platform for any sort of car. Volkswagen has been hard at work developing its MEB platform (which VW has been open to sharing as well) which will underpin its entire ID lineup of electric cars. It just makes everything simpler and cheaper during production. That becomes more important during this transitionary period where automakers might not be making as much on each car.
Also you can take one look at Tesla and see how expensive it is to create new cars from scratch.
Karma recognized a high demand within the electric vehicle market to develop a new electrified platform with increased versatility. Prior to Karma’s E-Flex Platform, the cost required to develop, test, certify and build a new EREV or BEV platform has been prohibitive, requiring as much as a billion-dollar investment for manufacturers. Karma’s versatile E-Flex Platform will allow vehicle manufacturers faster entry into the electric vehicle market at a substantially reduced development cost.
It certainly is an interesting concept that seems to be beneficial to both parties. Any company trying to get produce their own car will have a cheaper option for the base if they don’t want to develop their own, and Karma will recoup some of their R&D costs for the platform itself.
Karma Automotive COO, Kevin Pavlov stated that there are 22 different configurations for the electric car platform:
“We created a physical product that can be formatted into five different products, what others have called a one-dimensional skateboard, but what we call our E-Flex Platform, a multi-use solution. There are up to 22 different possible configurations available, covering various battery-packaging variants and different drive motor drive systems. We can deliver a wide range of configurations dependent on the builder’s priority.”
To showcase the versatility of the platform, Karma states that “additional EREV platform offerings, platforms for battery-electric-only vehicles (BEVs), and ‘proof-of-concept’ vehicles will be showcased in coming weeks.”
It will be interesting to see how many companies will use the E-Flex platform. While it should, in theory, lower the barrier of entry of electric car production slightly I wonder how many serious prospective automakers will want to be beholden to Karma for such a large part of the vehicle.
What do you guys think of the entire concepts? How many OEMs do you think will use the platform? Let me know down in the comments below.