Strange Bedfellows: Lotus helps develop Saudi Arabian green car industry
Considering that around 100% of its gross national product comes from oil, Saudi Arabia wouldn't be your first guess as the location of a burgeoning green car industry. In fact, oil is just about the only industry in this country, though the royal family is interested in establishing Saudi Arabia's own automotive industry. To that end, it's commissioned Lotus and parent company Proton to help build a research, development and test center that can be used by burgeoning Saudi Arabian automakers to produce vehicles that efficiently use the oil on top of which this country floats. Lotus is partnering with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to get the project completed and populate the center with various engineers. It would seem the hope is that it would be the base on which a fledgling automotive industry could grow in the next ten years. We doubt, however, they'll be working on developing longer lasting lithium-ion batteries. As our friends at AutoblogGreen put it, the goal is "maximizing the use of the available oil in the least damaging way possible." But whatever gets developed will still require oil.