Lotus Range Extender
Lotus Evora 414E Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery
Lotus Engineering has reached an agreement with the Spanish Fagor Ederlan Group to develop and produce a small engine for use as a range extender in electric vehicles – a system similar to that found in the Chevrolet Volt. Lotus first showed its 1.2-liter inline-three engine at the Geneva Motor Show in the Evora 414E and Proton Emas concepts.
As we suspected recently when we heard that Proton would be showing a hybrid concept car next week at the Geneva Motor Show, the propulsion system has been developed by Lotus. Malaysian automaker Proton owns the British engineering consultancy and sports car builder.
The latest product of Lotus Engineering's ongoing development work on alternative drivetrains is a new engine custom designed for use as a range extender in electric drive vehicles. The engineers at Lotus have developed an optimized architecture using a mono-block layout that combines the cylinder head, exhaust manifold and cylinder block into a single casting. Such an architecture allows for lower weight and reduced cost which is critical to making range extended EVs or series hybrids economica
The Lotus ethos has always been about efficient performance. "Simplicate, and add lightness" is an oft-echoed mantra coined by founder Colin Chapman. While the company is most known for its sports cars and racing endeavors, it's got a history of engineering for hire, as well. Embracing a definition of high performance that has protracted to include alternative propulsion technologies, Lotus has brought its experience to bear for series hybrids.