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Karma Automotive invests US$7.5 million in new product development

Karma will use the investment to install a suite of powertrain test labs at its global headquarters

As it launches its new electric vehicle, California-based car manufacturer Karma Automotive highlighted its commitment to sustain new product development alongside a US$7.5 million investment in its US operations.

In celebration of its five-year anniversary, it shared a glimpse of its new 2020 Karma Revero, which is powered by dual electric motors, ahead of its April 2019 debut for Auto Shanghai.

Following minor criticisms on its first Revero, the firm rebranded its plug-in hybrid saloon, the only one of the new “Shanghai Big Three” models which will be available for purchase.

The firm also highlighted its further commitment to continue new developments by investing US$7.5 million in the installation of a suite of powertrain test labs at its global headquarters in Irvine, allowing it to rapidly increase in-house production whilst keeping engineering costs low.

Within these labs, Karma Automotive will test product-development activities including evaluating the performance and durability of electric motors, generators, and range-extended powertrains to prepare for a range of new releases.

Included in the labs, which are expected to be operational by mid-2019, are the latest technologies to evaluate powertrain optimisation, including traction dynamometer, electric motor dynamometer, and an engine/generator test cell.

“These new capabilities will help Karma speed up our product development process, lead to better performance and durability and protect the intellectual property that’s critical to our success,” said Karma CEO Lance Zhou.

In 2014, two years after the at that time Fisker Karma’s battery producer failed to create any more batteries for his car and the firm declared bankruptcy, Chinese Wanxiang Group founded the Karma Automotive business.

Now, over 1,000 people work for the company which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.

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