Karma Automotive is getting into the light-duty electric vehicle game. Karma says it will work with Ayro, Inc. in a “strategic manufacturing, engineering and design partnership” to make “more than 20,000 vehicles” by the end of 2023 that will be valued at more than $300 million.
Ayro, formerly known as AEV, says its EVs are purpose built, which is one way of saying they’re the small work trucks that you’re likely to see on college campuses or working in cities to make last-mile deliveries or municipal duties. The company’s current line-up of “light-duty, urban and short-haul electric vehicles” come in two versions, the Club Car 411 and the 311.
Ayro’s Club Car 411 is a prototypical example of these work trucks, one of these simple utility vehicles that you can imagine cruising around with rakes and a big water cooler strapped to the back. The Club Car 411 has three configuration options – flatbed, pickup or a full van box that offers 123 square feet of cargo room and a half-ton payload capacity.
The Ayro 311 looks like it’d be more fun, but the three-wheeler is still meant to be used as a delivery vehicle. The 311 also comes in three flavors: as a fully enclosed two seater, one with half doors, and as a one-seater with a cargo area. The Ayro 311 has a driving range of up to 85 miles per charge.
Ayro has also developed the 511 4×4 Concept, which is meant to be an off-road EV with full-time four-wheel drive and 13 inches of ground clearance. The company has not said when or if it will put the 511 4×4 into production.
The two companies will build Ayro’s EVs at Karma’s production facility in Moreno Valley, California. The plant is called the Karma Automotive Innovation and Customization Center (KICC), and the companies say it has the ability to build the frames, chassis and bodies, integrate the powertrain and finish the cars in the robotic paint shop. Ayro’s EV will first be targeted towards the North American market, they could make their way to other parts of the world if there’s demand.
Karma Automotive was founded in 2014 out of the ashes of Fisker Automotive. Its flagship vehicle is the Revero GT plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Last year, Ayro partnered with the Ford Smart Mobility’s Autonomic subsidiary for work on Autonomic’s Transportation Mobility Cloud cloud connectivity platform. In July, Ayro announced it had received orders worth $584,000 for a purpose-built EV hospitality truck solution.