EPA says 2018 Karma Revero offers much lower range and economy than company claims

Article by Christian A., on September 6, 2017

When Karma Automotive announced the new 2018 Karma Revero plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the company made its Fisker Karma-inspired creation look highly appealing -- not just in terms of looks and performance, but also when it comes to fuel economy and all-electric range.

It turns out that the actual fuel economy and range of the 2018 Karma Revero PHEV are not quite at par with what was promised according to the official fuel economy figures from United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As a plug-in hybrid EV, the new Karma Revero employs an electric motor-gasoline engine drive setup. According to Karma, the 2018 Karma Revero could be driven for up to 50 miles of pure-electric range, with its lithium-ion battery pack sending power to its dual electric motors. As the carmaker states in its brochure, motorists who drive less than 50 miles per trip may never have to buy gasoline again. For longer trips exceeding 50 miles, the gasoline engine kicks in once the battery power reaches zero. This brings the total range of the Revero to around 300 miles. All of these figures were advertised by Karma for the new 2018 Revero PHEV.

But official fuel economy ratings from EPA say otherwise. According to EPA, the 2018 Revero has an all-electric range (combined city and highway) of around 37 miles, or around 13 miles short of Karma’s advertised figure of 50 mpg for the PHEV. In terms of MPGe, the new Karma Revero returns 60 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent. On the other hand, the Revero returns 34 MPGe city, 37 MPGe highway and 35 MPGe combined in the MPGe composite category.

As for the total range (electric plus extended gasoline range), the new 2018 Karma Revero could travel 60 miles short of the carmaker’s estimated range. As official figures from EPA indicates, the new Revero only offers 240 miles of total range, or 60 miles short of the advertised 300 miles. This is because the new 2018 Karma Revero returns dismal raw fuel economy figures – which is how many miles the PHEV could run on a gallon of conventional fuel, or in layman’s terms, how much gasoline could be consumed. The EPA said that the 2018 Revero returns 20 mpg city, 21 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined – fuel economy figures that are associated with trucks, not with aerodynamic cars.

Adding insult to injury, the Revero is picky in terms of fuel type, as it requires premium fuel that is more expensive than ordinary gasoline.

As a result of all these numbers, it is estimated by EPA that the fuel cost for a 2018 Karma Revero (electricity plus gasoline) would hit $1,450 annually. Considering that the average 2017 vehicle returns 26 mpg, a Karma Revero owner would actually spend $500 more in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle. In contrast, all other PHEVs allow owners to save up to $3,000 in fuel costs over five years.

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