"Don't be surprised to see an electric Lotus shortly"
Photo: Lotus Evora
Lotus Electric Car in the Cards
These words were recently spoken by Lotus CEO Michael Kimberley, making us think that being a supplier to Tesla Motors inspired the company to throw its hat in the ring. The concept EV is expected for the Geneva Motor Show in March. Read on for more.
Photo: Lotus Evora
The first electric Lotus is expected to be a range extended EV with a smaller battery to provide some plug-in range and an internal combustion engine to stretch the driving distance out to 300-400 miles. That would put Lotus in direct competition with the Fisker Karma. It's not known what vehicle layout Lotus will use, but given its limited resources, the new Evora is likely to be the donor platform. That will likely mean a mid-mounted battery pack with an engine directly behind.
Another electric car to keep an eye on is the Dodge EV, which was unveiled a few months ago and is based on the Lotus Europa S.
Increased Diversity in the EV Ecosystem
What does Lotus bring to the EV table? Lots of engineering experience and some healthy competition, mostly.
Any new technology (well, electric cars are old, but they haven't had anywhere near the amount of attention that internal combustion engines cars have had) can benefit from more R&D;, and from more players trying different approaches until the one that works best is found. It's still not clear what kind of combination of energy storage and powertrain will work best (battery electric car? range-extended electric car? a mix of batteries and hypercapacitors? which battery chemistry?).
Competition among EV makers will also help bring down prices and incentivize the carmakers to make products that people will actually want to buy, instead of just concept cars to show off at car shows but that are never brought to market.
Via Financial Times, AutoblogGreen
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