• Jan 2, 2009
Lotus is looking to challenge one of clients by building an electric sports car of its own. CEO Michael Kimberly told the Financial Times that the sports car maker and engineering powerhouse will soon launch extended-range battery-powered vehicle. The high performance model could appear as a concept as soon as the Geneva Motor Show in March, and like the Chevy Volt and Fisker Karma, Lotus will use an internal combustion engine to supplement the range of a battery which will provide primary propulsion.
Kimberly hasn't indicated what kind of vehicle layout would be used, but the new Evora sports car would seem a likely candidate with a battery taking the space of the small +2 rear seats. Another possibility could be a revival of the APX crossover concept from a couple of years back. California's Zap had hoped to use that platform for the basis of its own Zap-X, but nothing has been heard about that project for some time.

The other unknown is what, if any impact, this might have on Lotus' relationship with Tesla Motors. Lotus helped Tesla develop its Roadster and builds the rolling chassis for it. It's possible that Tesla could end up supplying motors or other powertrain bits to Lotus to help offset some of the cost of paying Lotus for its work.

[Source: Financial Times]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      It seems that a pure EV would be easier to make than an EV with a gas engine range extender. Perhaps their contract with Tesla prevents Lotus from making a pure EV, but an extended range EV is fair game.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Or perhaps they know that hybrids are still the only type of EV with mass market appeal.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow. Surprise. [/sarcasm]

      Who could have thunk it, after Chrysler showed a new Europa painted like a bumblebee, and called it their own.

      What is that you say, VW has a minivan now, too? :rolleyes:
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isn't Dodge's EV also a Lotus bodied car?
      I guess Lotus got tired of watching everyone else get greenie points with their product

        • 6 Years Ago
        I think the general consensus is that the entire car was built by Lotus and Dodge just stuck their badge on it to make sure they were included on the bailout package for their "green initiative".
        • 6 Years Ago
        tankd0g: Except it's a Lotus body with a Dodge powertrain, not a Lotus powertrain. Let's not forget about GEM and Chrysler's history with electric powerplants, it's not like they pulled this crap out of thin air.
        • 6 Years Ago
        hell lotus probably just ripped off Dodge's design. or perhaps it was their design all along and dodge ripped it off.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This sounds to me like the Lotus VOLT.. electric car with "range extender" regular engine.

      I can't wait to see this. I'm no "insider" but the Chevy Volt will not be made for performance.. but this sounds like they are taking a Chevy Volt and making it the performance version.

      I think Lotus may be taking this idea because of the weight savings. By possibly cutting down the size of the battery pack and putting a very small engine (no trans etc) into it.. they may be able to keep the balance and the weight better. Im not an expert though..

      But small battery pack and small engine.. does NOT = Tesla. But lets see how they pull it off. I love the competition and I'm sure with Lotus into the EV game now Top Gear will says its amazing. Why would anyone want to buy a tesla that has to be pushed home when they can buy this.. (sarcasm)...
        • 6 Years Ago
        That is true, but then again, batteries, fuel tank, motor, and engine and generator in a complex setup, adding weight to the car != Colin Chapman's Lotus.

        Even if it doesn't have a transmission, it still needs battery mass as capacitance for the generator to charge into, and the motor to discharge from, and batteries are not as energy dense as liquid fuel, and this is still TWO powerplants, one petrol, one electric, even if one plays subordinate to the other.

        This is not the recipe for "adding lightness."
      • 6 Years Ago
      Would love to see Lotus put Tesla out of business by creating a better EV car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      More useless rebadging.

      The Dodge-Lotus EV becomes a Lotus-Dodge EV.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess Tesla will be suing their ass off shortly then...
        • 6 Years Ago
        At this point this is exactly what Tesla needs. Lotus can provide them with some much needed cash or at least swap the tech and parts Lotus will need to build it's vehicles for the Roadster bodies Tesla needs but can't afford to buy to fufill it's orders. This deal might save Tesla.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lotus Engineering has been working on EV controls and technology for over a decade as Engineering director Roger Becker told me at the LA Auto Show http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/11/21/lotus-engineering-director-talks-about-dodge-ev/
        • 6 Years Ago
        At that point why doesn't Proton just buy out Tesla? Maybe that was Musk's plan all along, it's the only way he's going to get a ROI before he dies of old age.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not if they want to keep building Roadsters on Lotus chassis.

        More like Ca-CHING, for licensing fees of Tesla hardware in Lotus Cars.

        As long as Lotus sticks to the Europa or Evora, and doesn't build an electric Elise or Exige, they don't absolutely directly compete, and like I said, payday for Tesla to license the innards to lotus, while Tesla buys the Roadster chassis from them.

        At that point, why don't they just merge, and call electrics Teslas, and call gas-powered versions Lotuses.
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