Lotus and Britishvolt to cooperate on electric sports car technology
01 February 2022
Lotus Cars and Britishvolt have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop electrically-chargeable vehicle (EV) technology. The newly developed systems will star in the marque’s next generation of sports cars.
The first new model was teased in a design sketch. The battery-electric vehicle (BEV) will be equipped with Britishvolt cells and advanced electric-propulsion technology from Lotus. The design looks to follow the brand’s small and sporty styling.
‘Lotus is delighted to be collaborating with Britishvolt to develop new battery-cell technology to showcase the thrilling performance that a Lotus EV sports car can deliver,’ said Matt Windle, managing director at Lotus Cars. ‘These are the first exciting steps on the journey towards an all-new electric sports car from Lotus, and yet another step towards the transformation towards sustainable, renewable electricity stored in batteries.’
The EV technology developed by the two companies will focus on fast-charging, weight reduction, and optimised energy density. These capabilities will be important to the carmaker, given its legacy for small, light, and agile sports cars. Lotus may try to hold on to that image as it ends the production of internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
The brand’s electrification was confirmed in July 2021 with the launch of the Emira, Lotus’ last petrol-powered car, which will be delivered this year. However, it does look like the allure of the popular and profitable SUV market was too great for the British brand as it will soon be unveiling an entry into the segment.
‘Last year, we committed Lotus to a pure-electric future, and in the first month of this year, we announce another significant step on that journey. In the coming months, we will be unveiling the Type 132, an all-new and all-electric Lotus SUV and we have confirmed three more EVs are on the way,’ Windle added.
Work carried out under the MoU will benefit from the close proximity of the companies’ research and development centres in the West Midlands, UK. Lotus Advanced Technology Centre (LATC) opened its doors in Wellesbourne in 2020 and heads up the consultancy division of the business. Last year, the company also confirmed it was investing over £100 million (€120 million) in its UK facilities. This includes its manufacturing centre at Hethel for the electric Evija and the Emira.
The MoU with Britishvolt for its advanced lithium-ion battery cells makes perfect sense given the manufacturer’s ability to tailor cells to meet carmaker’s electrification requirements. The battery builder also recently confirmed a two-year, multi-million-pound agreement with the UK’s Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC).
‘Britishvolt is excited to be working with such a prestigious and highly acclaimed OEM as Lotus. This MoU demonstrates that the legacy one-size-fits-all cell strategy is no longer valid in the rapidly developing electric-mobility market,’ said Oliver Jones, chief commercial officer at Britishvolt. ‘It also reinforces Britishvolt’s differentiation strategy of close customer intimacy and partnering to fully optimise battery solutions and enable the differentiation so important to these iconic brands and products.’