Southern California-based auto maker Karma Automotive marked its fifth anniversary with further major investments in its US operations.
Karma’s latest investment, almost US$7.5m, was in a new suite of state-of-the-art powertrain test labs at the company’s global headquarters in Irvine, California. The new equipment strengthens Karma’s in-house engineering capabilities as the auto maker prepares for a period of rapid new product introductions.
The company’s powertrain engineers will use the labs as a testbed for a variety of product-development activities including evaluating the performance and durability of electric motors, generators, and range-extended powertrains. These new in-house resources strengthen Karma’s product development process by allowing it to move faster while reducing engineering costs since it won’t have to use or rely on outside labs for this type of work.
The new equipment includes a traction dynamometer, electric motor dynamometer, and an engine/generator test cell used to evaluate powertrain optimization. As part of a continued employment drive across the company, the Karma Powertrain Engineering department will support the new dynamometer labs with additional resources and will be fully operational by mid-year. Karma’s Powertrain Lab could eventually grow to become a new profit center for the company, given the high demand among various industries for this kind of state-of-the-art testing facility.
“These new capabilities will help Karma speed up the product development process, lead to better performance and durability and protect the intellectual property that’s critical to our success,” Zhou said. “This investment shows our commitment to implementing Karma’s vision of becoming a luxury auto maker driven by technology and innovation.”
Karma also released a glimpse of its all-new, next-generation luxury electric Revero, available for sale or lease during the second half of this year. The new 2020 Revero promises to be faster, smarter, and even more stunning in design than its predecessor.