Karma Automotive promised something attention-grabbing from its turnkey plan for performance EV platforms, and now we get to see just what the automaker had in mind. The latest iteration of Karma’s E-Flex architecture, it’s effectively a recipe for a ridiculously high-performance all-electric vehicle that could offer in excess of a thousand horsepower without sacrificing on range.
While Karma may have its own hybrid luxury sedans, it’s also counting on a growing appetite – and impatience – among other companies wanting to wade into the EV space. The E-Flex platform is its answer there, a flexible architecture supporting a variety of drivetrain configurations, which would allow those third-parties to skip the usual engineering, testing, and certification hurdles.
Turnkey needn’t mean mundane, though. Karma’s newest addition to the portfolio could make for a seriously fast EV, with zero-emissions but electric all-wheel drive and a whopping 1,100 horsepower.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard these numbers. Indeed, Karma Automotive was talking about them back at the LA Auto Show in November of 2019, when it brought along the striking SC2 concept. Pure-electric, and promising 0-60 mph in under 1.9 seconds, it was the company’s vision of what a modern EV sports car could look like and how it might perform.
It was also a sneaky showcase for the latest iteration of Karma’s E-Flax Platform. Dubbed the High-Performance E-Flex Platform, it’s the third we’ve seen so far, following somewhat more conservative versions for traditional vehicles and for potentially autonomous utility transportation. In all, Karma has promised, there should be 22 different configurations to play with, running the gamut from urban runabout to hypercars.
The latter is just what the High-Performance E-Flex Platform aims to deliver. Front and rear dual electric motors combine to deliver that headline 1,100 horsepower, along with a quoted 10,500 lb-ft of torque. It’s worth noting that Karma is talking about wheel torque here, not the more typical engine torque, which means it’s that engine amount multiplied by the gear ratios and final drive involved.
Even without the boasting, though, it’s clear that this new version is capable of keeping up in hypercar company. What could set Karma’s platform apart – assuming the company can actually deliver – are things like range.
Performance electric cars need big batteries if you’re going to get any sort of meaningful driving range from them. Push hard, and take advantage of all those e-horses, and that range will plummet fast. Then you end up with your hypercar-loving owners sat at the side of the race track, waiting as their EV charges up, and starting to question why they didn’t just go with a good old-fashioned gas engine instead.
It’s the reason we’re seeing automakers like McLaren look to extreme lightweighting strategies to pare back vehicle weight before adding hybrid drivetrains, but Karma says its high-tech solution should do the trick just as well. It aims to integrate a Silicon Carbide (SiC) high-density inverter, much more efficient than you’d find in a typical EV, and which – with a flat battery sandwiched in the platform’s floor – could deliver up to 400 miles of range.
That would be impressive for a regular electric car, never mind one with the sort of power figures Karma is throwing around. From the sound of it, though, we’ll have to wait until another firm pick up the High-Performance E-Flex Platform to actually see how well it all delivers. Karma says the SC2 was just a concept, and is looking to the dual-motor E-Flex version for the upcoming all-electric Revero GTE. This new version of the platform is currently at “initial development-stage completion” the automaker says, with no timeline for when it might be ready for the road.
Tesla Set To Deliver The First Semi To Pepsi
In October, Tesla’s CEO revealed that the production of the Tesla Semi had begun, and it was bound to be delivered today. Tesla has already started the countdown, and we expect the unveiling event to go down at the Nevada factory. The electric truck will be dispatched to Pepsi, which had ordered 100 units. Investor reports that Tesla’s stock price increased by 7.7% on Wednesday, probably in anticipation of Tesla’s Semi first delivery.
Musk tweeted on Saturday that the “Tesla team just completed a 500-mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs!” However, considering that Musk said that the company is dealing with supply chain issues and market inflation, it’s unclear if Tesla will stick to the original $180,000 price it intended to sell at when it was announced in 2017. Then again, Tesla offers a cheaper Semi that will be available for about $150,000 — but it can only achieve up to 300 miles at full load capacity. For now, we can only wait until it’s on the road to confirm if the specs match up to what was promised five years ago.
Coinbase Joins Elon Musk In Slamming The Apple App Store Tax
Coinbase complained that Apple’s insistence on its cut unreasonably interfered with its business.
Coinbase’s argument was largely the same as Elon Musk’s, and the basis of Epic Games’ aforementioned lawsuit. According to all of the above, Apple was half of a duopoly: with Google, it controlled the global app marketplace. The “duopoly” part of the argument is pretty much incontrovertible: As of October 2022, both Apple and Google control 99.43% of the global smartphone market between them (via StatCounter). Both get a 30% cut of everyone’s action on its marketplace. From the perspective of Coinbase, that took too much money out of too many elements of its business.
You might have noticed you can’t send NFTs on Coinbase Wallet iOS anymore. This is because Apple blocked our last app release until we disabled the feature. 🧵
— Coinbase Wallet (@CoinbaseWallet) December 1, 2022
Epic sued over that and, as noted above, won with an asterisk. Apple had restricted in-app purchases, and courts found that anticompetitive, but did require that Apple get a 30% cut of the profits, even though they took place in someone else’s app. In short, according to the Verge, the court said that if you’ve found a way to make money using iOS, you owe Apple 30%, period.
Epic thought in-app purchases should be exempted from the tax. Coinbase thinks elements of the NFT development process — in this case, gas prices to run the processing equipment necessary to mint NFTs — should be exempt from Apple’s app tax. Apple treats all user expenses on an app as in-app purchases and, per the Epic court decision, in-app purchases mean Apple gets a cut.
It’s not a simple problem, and it’s not likely to be solved anytime soon. Stakeholders and regulators have barely begun to integrate cryptocurrency and NFTs into the conventional marketplace. Who gets paid for what is likely to be a conversation for years on end. For now, all that’s certain is that conversation has begun.
LastPass Security Breach Exposed Some Customer Data, But Details Are Still Slim
LastPass’ new blogpost continues to be vague about the nature of the latest security incident that has affected the platform. What it does reveal, however, is that the company recently detected yet another incident of “unusual activity” within a third-party cloud storage service connected to LastPass. LastPass stopped short of revealing details surrounding the affected third-party cloud service. However, TechCrunch has hinted at the possibility of the cloud service being AWS. For those unaware, starting in 2020, LastPass began using AWS (Amazon Web Services) to store more than a billion customer records on Amazon’s cloud.
We recently detected unusual activity within a third-party cloud storage service, which is currently shared by both LastPass and its affiliate GoTo. Customer passwords remain safely encrypted due to LastPassâ€™s Zero Knowledge architecture. More info: https://t.co/xk2vKa7icq pic.twitter.com/ynuGVwiZcK
— LastPass (@LastPass) November 30, 2022
LastPass goes on to add that the security incident prompted an immediate internal investigation, following which they ascertained that the threat actor was able to access “certain elements” of LastPass’ customer information. Interestingly, LastPass has also confirmed that the unauthorized party used data from the August 2022 incident to gain access to LastPass’ systems.
While LastPass hasn’t revealed the exact nature of customer information that has been breached, they maintain that customers’ passwords have not been affected. LastPass also said it had engaged the services of Mandiant — a leading security firm — to help them with the investigation. The company has also notified law enforcement agencies about the same. The company has promised to share more updates surrounding the latest incident after they conclude an internal investigation.
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