Karma Partners with Ayro on Electric Mini-Trucks
Targeting maintenance, catering, short-hop delivery work
Karma Automotive is jumping into the U.S. electric delivery vehicle market.
The company, better-known for its high-powered sport sedans, has partnered with Texas-based EV builder Ayro to develop a family of light-duty electric delivery vehicles.
The companies hope to deliver more than 20,000 units over the next three years.
The next-generation Ayro trucks will be tailored mainly for campus use by hospitals, universities, airports, hotels, municipalities and other nonautomotive markets. The partners plan to focus on North America initially.
Karma will contribute its design and engineering services and the custom-production capabilities of its 550,000 sq-ft Innovation and Customization Center outside Los Angeles. The year-old center offers fabrication, body assembly, robotic paint shop and powertrain integration.
Ayro’s current Club Car 411 family (Image: Ayro)
Ayro, which was founded three years ago, will provide its own production, marketing and supply chain experience.
This isn’t Karma’s first exploration of the delivery vehicle market. In April the company partnered on the Karma E-Flex Van with chipmaker Nvidia and Chinese startup WeRide.ai. The concept rides on Karma’s electric “skateboard” platform, which the company says can support 22 electrified vehicle variants.
Ayro’s current Club Car 411 series is based on a two-person, chassis-cab EV that measures about 12 feet long, 4.5 feet wide and 6.5 feet tall. Six sealed lead-acid batteries provide a range of 50 miles and a top speed of 25 mph.
Generally, when OEMs produce aluminum engine blocks (aluminum rather than cast iron because cast iron weighs like cast iron), they insert sleeves into the piston bores—cast iron sleeves.
The 2016 model is all-new. As in platform and everything else. And the platform—which will have global use—was developed in North America.
Making improvements to existing engines, as well as working toward something entirely different.