Karma to use BMW hybrid, electric technology

Karma to use BMW hybrid, electric technology

Plug-in hybrid system to tap into i3, i8 expertise.

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November 13, 2015

Costa Mesa, California – Karma Automotive will use BMW electric powertrain components for its plug-in hybrid vehicle, company officials say. BMW will supply Karma Automotive with high voltage battery charging systems and a wide range of hybrid and EV systems.

BMW has been pushing into electric vehicles with its i3 crossover and the i8 performance car.

Karma Automotive will integrate the first BMW components into its vehicle, which will re-launch in 2016. The next generation of vehicles already in development will use more of BMW's powertrain technology.

Chinese investment company the Wanxiang Group in 2014 bought the former Fisker Karma business in bankruptcy court. Launched in 2009 with a General Motors 2L engine and a massive battery, the Karma drew immediate attention for its good looks and fuel-saving technology.

It borrowed $168 million from the U.S. Department of Energy through a fuel-economy improvement program, but the government only recouped about $25 million of that following Fisker’s bankruptcy.

"The Wanxiang Group is giving Karma Automotive the opportunity to bring a stunning car back to the market, and the partnership with BMW and their outstanding track record is a great fit for the future," says Karma's CEO Tom Corcoran. "We will continue to develop beautiful cars with the latest cutting edge hybrid and EV technology."

Co-founder Bernhard Koehler adds, "I'm personally excited and incredibly proud we will be integrating the sophistication, integrity and character of the BMW powertrain into our own. Karma Automotive products and ultimately our customers will be the greatest benefactors of this fantastic relationship."

Source: Karma Automotive LLC