Tech

Karma's all-electric Revero sedan will set you back $80,000

The brand is a reincarnation of defunct Fisker Karma, which also aspired to make electric cars for the luxury market.

Karma Automotive

Karma Automotive, the born-again version of Fisker Karma, announced last week that its all-electric Revero sedan will have a starting price of $80,000.

If the name doesn't ring a bell, Fisker was a luxury electric carmaker that launched in 2012 and died without making much of a sound. Its cars were hybrids, not fully electric, and they were very expensive with prices starting at over $100,000. The company only ever sold about 2,500 vehicles before its battery supplier went bankrupt and it was unable to find an alternative source.

Following its own bankruptcy, the assets of Fisker were sold to Chinese company Wanxiang, and the new owners in 2016 introduced the Revero, launching initially as a hybrid too. The new model coming next year will look similar but sport an all-electric powertrain.

Karma vs. Fisker — Making things more confusing, Henrik Fisker, the founder of the namesake company, has started a separate reincarnation of Fisker with plans to release an all-electric SUV called the Ocean sometime in 2021. He recently raised money for the company by going public on the stock market, though that endeavor is dubious nature considering Fisker doesn't have any of the manufacturing resources of Wanxiang, which already produces the Revero hybrid in its own factory. To make the Ocean, Fisker plans to outsource manufacturing to a third party.

Fisker has repeatedly made claims about his planned SUV he's subsequently had to walk back, like saying the car will have a range of 500 miles. He also said the Ocean would have fast-charging capabilities but has since said that feature will only be available in later models.

The original Fisker Karma. David Cooper/Toronto Star/Getty Images

Karma says the all-electric Revero will have a range of 400 miles on a charge, but besides that, we don't know much about the car. It plans to unveil the production version next year.

Doable, but niche — One complaint about the original Karma sedan was that despite being attractive on the outside, it was cramped inside. The new vehicle looks similar to the Karma, but with a simpler all-electric powertrain it's possible the company might be able to introduce more interior space. Electric cars typically have their batteries stretched out along the bottom of the vehicle.

While Karma has proven that it's capable of shipping cars and isn't merely vaporware, at these high prices it will remain a niche brand and not a serious threat to Tesla, whose top-selling vehicle is the Model 3 that starts at $37,990.

Pre-orders for the Revero opened last week.