Lotus Engineering is to research the development a new generation of electric vehicles.
The Norfolk firm’s design consultancy division was selected by ZAP (Zero Air Pollution), a US supplier of environmentally friendly vehicles. ZAP wants to develop a range of affordable, practical and fun-to-drive electric cars.
Lotus’s challenge is to discover if such a range can be realistically developed. Not only will it study developments in electric motors, batteries and charging systems, but also styling, performance, and production costs. Staff from Lotus’s technical centres at Hethel, Michigan and Kuala Lumpur will complete the study.
This is not the first union between Lotus and eco-friendly Americans. In July 2006, Californian electric sports car manufacturer Tesla commissioned Lotus to complete final assembly of their Elise-based Roadster.