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Karma plans electrified pickup truck concept for late this year

The pickup's platform will also support an SUV, according to a new report.

Karma electric pickup concept teaser

Karma Automotive, the startup carmaker born from the ashes of the original Fisker, has plans to tackle America's most popular segment: the pickup truck.

As is all the rage these days, Karma plans to show off a pickup truck to compete with an immense influx of similar vehicles in the pipeline. However, this isn't an purely electric truck, it'll boast an extended-range powertrain, or an engine with a battery onboard to work together. In this scenario, the engine never drives the wheels, but does act as a generator for the battery.

Word of the electrified truck concept comes from Karma's chief operations officer, Kevin Pavlov, who told Bloomberg in a report Monday that the concept should bow later this year.

Karma clarified in a statement this will not be an electric pickup, but instead showcase its extended-range electric powertrain technology. It'll also serve as a piece to showcase what Karma could perhaps license out to other companies in the future. A company representative couldn't speak to a more direct debut timeline, however.

Pavlov dished out a few other details in the report. The pickup should cost less than the Revero sedan, which is a hybrid vehicle. The Revero starts at $135,000, which makes it sound like Karma's upcoming pickup will still be pretty expensive. Additionally, the new platform the truck will use will also underpin an SUV in the future, according to the executive. This all-wheel-drive platform will eventually go into production at the company's California manufacturing site.

This isn't actually the first time Karma's mentioned its ambitions to build a pickup. Back in November, the firm formally announced its intentions and called the project an "extended range electric vehicle conversion" project. Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou added at the time that extended-range powertrains were only a tiny portion of alternatives for pure EVs, and hinted the former was an appropriate route for larger vehicles.

If and when Karma succeeds in bringing an electrified pickup to market, it'll have its work cut out. The Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T are the leading electric trucks from startup automakers. Legacy automakers will jump in, too, with an electric Ford F-150 on the way and a rumored electric Hummer pickup from General Motors.

Originally published Jan. 28, 12:14 p.m. PT.
Update, 1:18 p.m.: Adds statement and clarification from Karma that this is not a battery-electric pickup truck concept.

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