VIDEO: Dutch firms begin flood of electric cars with converted Lotus Elises

A consortium of Dutch companies under the banner of Electric Cars Europe have decided a little collaboration is in order to help speed up the implementation of electric cars in the Netherlands. With a vision of seeing 26 per cent of Dutch cars powered by electrons by 2025, the consortium's plan has several parts, the first of which involves some conversion of several Lotus Elise vehicles to an electric drivetrain by partner company, Innosys Engineering. Isn't it a little strange how Lotus has become the "go to" company when you want to build, or even just convert, an electric sports car these days? But I digress.

The next order of business is to take €100 million already invested and metamorphose a couple hundred Volkswagen Golfs from liquid fuel to solid state. All of these vehicles, as well as some future models, are to be monitored by energy company, Essent, as part of large-scale testing of their "Mobile Smart Grid." This is a "smart" distribution system that will make the move to electric personal transportation more feasible by tracking how much power you need and when you need it. It can also bill you for what you use regardless of where you plug in.

To read about a somewhat surprising twist to their next phase as well as test your working knowledge of Dutch and watch some electric Lotus Elise action, hit the jump. As an extra bonus we've also tagged on an extra video from Innosys Engineering that shows off what they've accomplished to the syncopated rhythms of a funky soundtrack.

* Added another video showing more of the orange Elise on the track

Another interesting bit in this plan is the phase following the Volkswagen conversions. In 2009, ECE will import a sub-compact model made by Detroit Electric (a joint venture between ZAP! and Youngman Automotive of China). If you go to the ECE website and click on "De Modellen" then hover your mouse over Detroit Electric sub-compact, a picture of a car as well as some specs will appear on the fly-out. Clicking on "Meer Modellen" on the bottom right of the page will show you the other three ZAP models they also plan to import. The ZAP-X, the ZAP Alias, and an unpictured but spec'd out midsize sedan/hatchback. The X and the mystery mid-size model seem to have the a 2010 due date attached to them. It doesn't appear to state when the Alias is expected to arrive but we heard recently that the chassis prototype was finished and should have been delivered to the company's Santa Rosa headquarters by now. Given their prior fondness for informing the world of the daily minutia of life at Zapworld, surprisingly no press release has been issued by ZAP or Detroit Electric about their European plans or the progress of the Alias. We hope we hear from them soon and in the meantime, wish all involved parties the best of luck.

The video meant to be presented here is no longer available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The video meant to be presented here is no longer available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Special thanks to Matthijs at Aptera forum whose post initiated this.

[Source: Minds in Motion / De Voltskrant (with Google translate help) via Green Car Congress]

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