Autos

Karma Automotive to Introduce New Name for Sedans, No Cars Yet Though

Electric vehicle (EV) maker Karma Automotive on Monday said it will introduce a “new name for a family of vehicles in 2021 called the GS Series.” As eager as we all are to see the backside of 2020, it appears that Karma has jumped the gun and announced the new name today.

The new GS Series of luxury sedans, Karma’s first-ever all-electric cars, will kick off with a GSe-6 Series, according to the company’s preorder website. The company’s current lineup includes only hybrid electrics with all-electric ranges still below 100 miles.

In the announcement, the company said the GS Series will keep the same “exotic design” of its Revero line but include new technology and pricing “that will help bring new customers into the brand.” The base manufacturer’s suggested retail price on the 2020 Revero GT is $135,000.

That probably means the company plans to release its first all-electric car with the same body styling as the Revero with minor badging changes and an all-electric power train. Dr. Lance Zhou, Karma’s CEO, said the GS Series came possible as EV parts became cheaper and the company’s supply chain was “streamlined.”

Unlike many other EV makers, Karma has not been acquired by a blank-check company, aka a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The company is what remains of the original Fisker Automotive founded in 2007 by Henrik Fisker, former design director for Aston Martin. China’s Wanxiang Group purchased Fisker Automotive out of bankruptcy in 2014 for $150 million and renamed the company after Fisker’s original Karma sedan.

Meanwhile, Henrik Fisker’s new company, Fisker Inc., has agreed to combine with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: SPAQ) in a reverse merger. The two companies had to extend the date for completion of the merger from August 14 to February 14, 2021, after a deal between Volkswagen and Fisker failed to get done.

In July, Wanxiang’s Pin Ni, president of the firm’s U.S. business, told Bloomberg that the company planned to sell an all-electric Revero GTE EV with a range of around 300 miles beginning in the late spring of 2021. Presumably, that is the vehicle that will be the first model to use the GS brand.

Karma has said that it has raised $100 million in fresh capital and is looking to raise another $300 million. Wanxiang’s Ni told Bloomberg that the Chinese firm had invested “a couple of billion” of its own funds in Karma.

The competition in the EV space is intense, and Karma could be trying to overcome both a technological barrier and a financial one. Wanxiang has been looking to sell more than 50% of Karma to U.S. investors, thus avoiding some of the political difficulties that have hammered TikTok for the past couple of months.