Californian luxury electric car manufacturer and high-tech incubator Karma Automotive announced Tuesday that it now accepts payments in Bitcoin at its flagship store in Newport Beach, California.
The auto manufacturer will accept payments in the cryptocurrency for buying and servicing vehicles at the store. The advancement is the result of a partnership with its primary shareholder, Wanxiang Group, a collaboration that was announced at Shanghai International Blockchain Week 2019.
“We are opening our platform to serve as a test bed to help convert theoretical blockchain applications to practical use,” said Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou.
At the 15,000 square foot shop floor, customers can buy the plug-in hybrid Revero GT and certified pre-owned Reveros using Bitcoin, with the 2019 model starting at $130,000 (or around 16.4 BTC in today’s money).
“Karma’s flagship store will support our efforts to prove emerging technology and provide the latest VVIP customer treatment offerings by accepting Bitcoin cryptocurrency,” added Zhou.
This is the latest in a string of blockchain announcement from the automotive industry in recent days. Earlier this week, American car manufacturer Ford revealed plans to extend the trial of a new blockchain-based system to Cologne. Using the system, hybrid vehicles would automatically switch from petrol engines to electric engines in city centres.
And last week, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), an industry group including car manufacturers Ford, Honda, BMW, Renault and GM, announced plans to start development on a blockchain-based system that would allow cars to pay for parking tickets and highway tolls.