B-ON brings on Karma Automotive as production partner

The StreetScooter successor B-ON is cooperating with Karma Automotive to produce electric transporters for the North and South American market. With this in mind, Karma Automotive will start assembling B-ON’s electric vans in California later this year.

Manufacturing will take place at the company’s own production facility in Moreno Valley, California, according to a company statement from Karma Automotive. Pre-production of B-ON’s e-transporters will begin there in July, according to the contract manufacturer. From 2024, the plant with a production capacity of up to 30,000 vehicles per year should then be in full production for B-ON.

In January 2022, B-ON, who was still known as Odin Automotive, had acquired the Deutsche Post subsidiary StreetScooter and the plant in Düren with an annual capacity of 30,000 vehicles. Since then, the company has been working to develop into a full-service provider offering fleet electrification including the associated ecosystem. With this in mind, B-ON has initiated a cooperation with Hitachi for charging infrastructure and energy management. Hitachi Venture, Hitachi’s venture capital company, also became a shareholder in May 2022.

Karma is now set to make the leap overseas. “B–ON’s product is a proven winner in this market, and we are proud to be partnering with B-ON to be the exclusive manufacturer in North America of their last mile delivery vehicles. Their product combined with our existing technical expertise and Customized Flexible Manufacturing operational capabilities as an OEM is a recipe for success, both in 2023 and down the line as the partnership grows,” says Jeff Wawryzniak, CEO of Karma Automotive. B-ON’s product, combined with Karma’s existing technical expertise and operational capabilities as an OEM in customised flexible manufacturing, is a recipe for success, according to the CEO.

the horizon, as in the summer of 2022 B-ON announced an agreement with US company Creative Bus Sales (CBS) for the exclusive distribution of B-ON’s electric transporters in the United States. The cooperation started with an order for 500 vehicles for the fourth quarter of 2022, but is expected to grow to “up to 20,000 vehicles per year”, as it was said at the time. As a prerequisite, a corresponding increase in volume through production in the USA was already mentioned in the summer of 2022. This is now supposed to happen with Karma.

Karma Automotive was founded in 2014 and manufactured electrified luxury vehicles, as well as providing a B2B service provider with its headquarters in Irvine, California, and the aforementioned production facility in Moreno Valley. In 2020, rumours of liquidity shortages arose in the meantime, as well as a court battle with Lordstown for theft of intellectual property. Since then, the company has been quiet for a long time – until the announcement of the now signed deal with B-ON.



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