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.