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ZAP Engages Lotus Engineering for EV Feasibility Studies

16 January 2007

ZAP has selected Lotus Engineering to undertake engineering concept studies for a number of electric vehicles.

The studies will explore the creation of a new generation of electric automobiles from concept to production. Of particular interest in the project is the challenge of advancing the electric car market by incorporating new technologies which will maximize the consumer appeal.

Initial assessments conducted by ZAP indicate that there is a strong opportunity to create a new generation of electric cars that provide a superior driving experience while being practical and affordable. We will use our automotive technology background to look in greater detail at a range of factors to produce a detailed analysis of these opportunities.

—Mike Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus plc

The studies, with input from Lotus Engineering’s technical centers in Hethel, UK, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will look at a variety of critical success factors. These cover several technical issues including the integration of major components, new motor designs, controllers, batteries and charging systems. Marketing considerations such as styling, performance, and features will be studied, as well as manufacturing process engineering, project timing and costs.

The goal in the feasibility study phase will be to provide a comprehensive analysis to support ZAP in the process of commercializing the new automobile concepts.

Brazil’s Obvio! Automotoveiculos S.A.—which has a distribution agreement with ZAP—last year selected Lotus Engineering to develop two “trybrid” high-performance microsports cars for markets across the globe. (Earlier post.) Lotus Engineering was also involved with the design of the Tesla Roadster, and Lotus Group in its production.

January 16, 2007 in Electric (Battery) | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Not bad, Lotus is slowly becoming a leader in electric cars.

I guess Lotus found parties interested in their ability to manufacture one off models in small volumes. I believe they were trying to shop it around at the major vehicle manufacturers originally.

obviously lotus have a small, highly motivated , and above all intelligent management team behind them , who dont want to be caught with their trousers round their ankles when the s**t hits the fan for the ICE ! good on them ,

I agree with andrichrose 100%!

However, I heard that there is a new powerful [read deep pockets] EV company coming out soon.

For what I understand they have spent already a couple of years fine tuning their proprietary technology and that their base model will be a comparable compact car with a very attractive low price tag.

Can't wait to show my f....r to gas stations around town!

Fred

Fred: Are you talking about another company like Tesla, still operating in stealth mode? Do you have any information? Speaking of stealth ... anyone heard anything new on eestore lately?

I almost couldn't believe this article. I have some
free advice for Zap - save your money. Find a practical battery and you'll sell every electric car you can build,
irregardless of looks.

Unfortunately, the cost of traction batteries with high specific power and capacity plus long life is still sky-high. That is why the only pure BEV applications we'll be seeing in the next few years are small sports cars and light-duty commercial vehicles. Some organizations, especially those on a use-it-or-lose-it cap ex budget, would rather eat the amortization than suffer the recurring fuel costs of a regular truck. Moreover, in some work environments, e.g. warehouses, zero tailpipe emissions are indispensible.

Contrary to what andrichrose seems to think, the days of the ICE are (unfortunately) not yet numbered, though improvements in electric traction technology will almost certainly bring down costs over the next decade. However, ICE and the associated fuels technology will not stand still, either. The transition to a majority BEV fleet, if it ever happens, will be very gradual.

I'm glad that Lotus is involved in more than just the Tesla. Everything Zap makes just looks awful, including the sporty obvio, which I should like. Even their website needs work! Here's hoping it works out for them, and maybe if they come out with a decent looking fast sports car or sharp sedan (and maybe get a cooler company name) I can make my next car an EV. Love the tech, hate the delivery. Sorry Zap.

Hi Neil,

So far this is what I know about this new EV company through a friend who has a brother who works there:

a]The name is PEAR...I don't think it's related to the delicious fruit but rather it's a moniker of some sort

b]They are building a huge manufacturing plant in Central America in order to keep the costs down/low

c]They own a proprietary Li-ion battery technology currently under [commercial grade] development

d]They expect to bring to market their EVs within two/three years max

e]Unlike Tesla they have already a fleet of 5 models some of which shares the same platform/chassis and they have a sub-compact which I understand they plan to sell for close to $20K or less

f]They have been stealth for the past couple of years in order to work quietly and under the "radar" of Detroit

g]I have no idea about the drive system but I believe they are in talks with all the most famous e-drive manufacturers...maybe we should ask them for some insight news

i]I will ask my friend if he has anything else he can tell me and I will post it [if I am allowed] on this site

Cheers,

FS

Here's the news I got so far:

They are aggressively working on a new solid-state battery technology in a joint venture between PEAR and MIT. Apparently, the initial lab tests easily demonstrated up to 400+ wh/kg with rapid recharging time and long life cycle.

I heard that within two year or sooner they could achieve a 600+wh/kg or more. The battery is made of relatively cheap materials which will help keeping the manufacturing cost down. PEAR is going to manufacture it somewhere in Central America and stay out of the price war and phony availability of some of the other battery manufacturers who offer absurd claims and never deliver a single actual product: EESTOR, ALTAIRNANO etc...

I think their strategy will be a success and another huge factor in their favor is that they don't have to buy from a third [battery] company which regardless of their financial status cannot guarantee that maybe one day they would be bought by Big Oil or by Big Detroit and nicely placed on a shelf somewhere in their vast storage facilities!

Don't know the name of the battery/technology yet, but I will investigate further.

FS PhD

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