Karma E-Flex platform shows off lower-cost 'Everyday BEV' layout

Cost-efficient, single-motor platform for compact vehicles

The Karma E-Flex show — interrupted recently by a rumor of brewing troubles inside the company — continues with the next demo model. This time, the E-Flex platform has been configured to serve an "Everyday BEV," meaning a compact vehicle in front-wheel-drive configuration. The skateboard chassis fits an 80-kWh battery, a single motor on the front axle, and Karma's in-house silicon-carbide-based inverter. The compact specs don't limit the platform's range of use, the company's head of chassis engineering saying, "Karma’s goal in creating the ‘Everyday BEV’ platform was to offer an economic solution for service vehicles, ridesharing vehicles, and last-mile delivery vehicles that can benefit from low cost of ownership and sustainable transportation.”

This is the fifth demonstration of E-Flex versatility after the Revero GT extended-range sedan, an EREV van, an electric van, and a supercar. It marks the third incarnation of the E-Flex chassis as a battery-electric vehicle after the van and the Revero GTE sedan, promised for next year. As a performance luxury option in top-tier guise, however, the Revero GTE would be equipped with at least one more motor. The sedan has been advertised as offering three drivetrains returning ranges of 200, 300, and 400 miles, one of them fulfilling a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds. 

The less expensive "everyday BEV" benefits from the same structural components as those in the Revero GT, including production subframes, gearbox, suspension, and drive motors. Karma says, "Most components have achieved over a million miles of Karma testing and in-market validation." We're not sure Karma plans to employ this specific EV setup in one of its offerings. More likely, this is another demonstrator for automakers large and small who might be ready to buy their way past the hardest part of EV development.

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