Green Car Congress  
Go to GCC Discussions forum About GCC Contact  RSS Subscribe Twitter headlines

« ZAP Receives Order for 100 New Electric SUVs from Samyang Optics | Main | Denise Gray, GM’s Director of Battery Engineering, Leaving For California Start-Up »

Print this post

Lotus to Introduce Plug-in Series Hybrid Evora 414E Performance Concept at Geneva

24 February 2010

Evorahybrid
Shot of the Evora 414E Hybrid concept. Click to enlarge.

Lotus Engineering will unveil the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid concept at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. The concept is a high-performance technology demonstrator with a plug-in series hybrid drive system—featuring the Lotus Range extender engine (earlier post)—and new technologies for enhanced driver involvement.

For the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid—so-named because it produces 414 PS (306 kW, 408 hp) of power—Lotus Engineering developed a drivetrain system consisting of twin motors each limited to providing 152 kW (207 PS/204 hp) of power and 400 N·m (295 lb-ft) of torque to each wheel via independent, single speed, reduction transmissions integrated into a single housing, enabling torque vectoring dynamic control of the vehicle. The 414E Hybrid accelerates from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in less than 4 seconds.

Evora
A conventional Evora. Click to enlarge.

A Lithium Polymer battery pack provides 17 kWh of energy storage capacity. The battery pack is optimized for energy density, efficiency and high power demand, with more than 100 kW discharge capability. All electric range is up to 35 miles (56 km), and total hybrid range is more than 300 miles (483 kilometers).

The 1.2-liter, 3-cylinder Lotus Range Extender engine provides 35 kW (48 PS/47 hp) of power at 3,500 rpm via the integrated electrical generator and features an innovative architecture comprising an aluminium monoblock construction, integrating the cylinder block, cylinder head and exhaust manifold in one casting. This results in reduced engine mass, assembly costs, package size and improved emissions and engine durability.

The engine uses an optimized two-valve, port-fuel injection combustion system to reduce cost and mass and can be operated on alcohol-based fuels and/or gasoline. The generator converts mechanical energy to electrical energy to replenish the battery pack charge and provides additional vehicle range in a small light weight package. The generator is also used as a motor to start the range extender engine. The low mass of the range extender unit (85 kg) and compact package makes it ideal for the series hybrid drivetrain in the Evora 414E Hybrid.

All the operation and management of the range extender engine, the power management of the batteries and motor control are controlled by Lotus’ electronic control units and software systems.

For everyday commuting journeys, up to 35 miles can be travelled using battery power. The battery can be charged overnight using a conventional domestic supply through a socket concealed by the rear number plate.

Lotus used its own vehicle simulation tools to determine the size, capacity, power and performance of all the components in the drivetrain system to optimize the system operation. Overall this is far more energy-efficient, weight-efficient and cost-effective than fitting the vehicle with a larger and more expensive battery, which for the majority of short journeys is a redundant weight, which increases energy requirements, Louts says.

Lotus claims that with regard to the total lifetime CO2 emissions of the vehicle, including the energy required to manufacture and run it, the range extender solution has a lower overall CO2 footprint than a fully electric car of comparable performance and operating range running with a larger battery.

Innovation has always been at the heart of Lotus and is needed now more than ever. The Evora 414E Hybrid is the perfect demonstration of Lotus Engineering’s core competencies: lightweight architectures, efficient performance, electrical and electronics integration and driving dynamics. The technology demonstrator represents an encapsulation of the advanced technologies that Lotus Engineering continues to develop to overcome the current environmental challenges facing the automotive industry and showcases the future direction that the sector is taking and why Lotus Engineering is perfectly placed to lead the technological development in this area.

—Robert Hentschel, Director of Lotus Engineering

Driver interaction. The Evora 414E Hybrid provides less of a psychological step change for people familiar with high-performance cars compared to other electric and hybrid sports cars. The car has a simulated paddle shift gear change offering ultra quick gear changes reminiscent of a dual clutch transmission, while actually single speed. This enhances the driver interaction with the vehicle and provides a driving experience similar to current internal combustion engine high performance sports cars. The Evora 414E Hybrid uses a column mounted paddle shift to simulate the gear change and a synthesized engine sound changes frequency with virtual gear selection. The drive torque is also modulated to simulate a physical feeling of a gearshift jolt.

The virtual gearshift simulation, like a conventional gearbox, is used to change the driving characteristics and response of the vehicle. The most significant aspect that this offers the driver is the ability to control the vehicle deceleration by simulating engine braking through a virtual downshift in gears. Unlike true engine braking, the Lotus system does not dissipate the energy of the moving vehicle through internal engine friction but uses the electric motors to regenerate the energy back into the battery. While many electric and hybrid vehicles provide engine braking, this is generally at a fixed rate or preselected rate. In some driving situations this can either be too aggressive, slowing the vehicle unnecessarily, or too light, requiring additional braking application.

The Lotus system effectively allows the driver to select the appropriate level of regeneration by simulating stepping down by one, two or even three gears. The simulation of engine braking through both the gear noise change and the retardation of the vehicle is fully intuitive to a driver familiar with a conventional gearbox. The simulated gearchange capability can be selected for greater driving involvement or switched off for more relaxed driving.

The Evora 414E Hybrid uses the Lotus Engineering and Harman International developed HALOsonic suite of noise solutions. The first of which is Electronic Sound Synthesis. This generates engine sounds inside the vehicle through the audio system where it provides an exciting sports sound in line with the brand and nature of the vehicle together with a high level of driver feedback in an intuitive manner. In addition, it also generates sound on the outside of the vehicle through speakers mounted at the front and rear to provide a warning to increase pedestrian safety, which is especially important for electric and hybrid vehicles which can be difficult to hear at slower speeds.

There are four driver selectable engine sounds currently on the vehicle, two of which have been designed to have characteristics of a multi-cylinder conventional V6 and V12 engine. There is also a futuristic sound and a combination of a conventional engine and a futuristic sound, enhancing the brand identity of the vehicle as a step forward in electric vehicle design.

The addition of this Lotus patented simulated gearshift concept not only provides for an exciting and involving driving experience that customers would expect from a Lotus, but also enhances the driver’s control of the vehicle while providing the capability for more efficient operation through a greater use of energy regeneration.

Structure. The Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid structure is the same award-winning, versatile vehicle architecture (VVA) used on the Lotus Evora. The low volume architecture was designed with the upmost flexibility in mind. The Evora 414E Hybrid is an example of how to integrate a compact packaged drivetrain, offering excellent performance and range, while using this underpinning. The complete chassis has remained unchanged from the Evora which maintains the structural integrity and strength performance of the original car.

The structure progresses the Lotus ‘bonded and riveted’ technology with new and unique extrusions and folded panels, whilst providing production build modularity and lower cost repairs. The chassis has been designed for scalability so that it can be extended in width, length and height. The strength and stiffness of the low volume VVA chassis can be modified cost effectively by varying the wall thickness of the extrusions, without altering the exterior dimensions. The ability to lengthen or shorten extrusions with the option to tailor the chassis stiffness vastly increases the number of vehicles that can be developed from this vehicle architecture.

Lotus is also showcasing a series hybrid vehicle technology application, including the Lotus Range Extender Engine, in the PROTON Concept to be unveiled at Geneva. (Earlier post.)

February 24, 2010 in Electric (Battery), Engines, Hybrids, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c4fbe53ef01310f361edb970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Lotus to Introduce Plug-in Series Hybrid Evora 414E Performance Concept at Geneva:

Comments

Tesla is screwed if this actually makes it to a Dealer showroom.

I favor the rear drive two motors idea. No drive shaft nor differential and you can get plenty of power with smaller motors. There is no pricing and the Lotus brand is not a big seller in the U.S., but we will see.

I bet the weight distribution is really good as you can put the batteries in the best place.

It's funny they have to add noise and gear simulation, but using the paddles to control regentive braking is actually a really good idea

WOW, repeat, this is THE concept.

Electric motors can provide transmission-less supercar acceleration for a pittance and double as a starter. Foot-buried acceleration is needed less than ten (10%) percent of the time.

Meanwhile, a tiny "1.2-liter, 3-cylinder Lotus Range Extender engine provides 35 kW (48 PS/47 hp)" tops off a small 17 kWh battery.

Lotus means a six figure racing price, but mass production can scale down, add more seats, drop exotic materials, profit at $30,000 USD, and provide 50 mpg/0-60mph@10sec. - good enough for a compact sedan.

This could have been technically done for the last dozen years, even with 5kW NiMH (<1/5 of the RAV4 EV) batteries. Add more/better batteries when gas exceeds $5-10/gallon in the future.

You could cut the size of the battery and motors by 1/2 for a road car. You could just add it to a 'normal' 5 speed manual FF vehicle and make it into a 4WD PHEV

This HAS been done years ago.
Many, many times; as Popular Sciece has featured such concept cars.

Add more seats, drop exotic materials, provide 50 mpg/0-60mph@12sec - Compete with the Prius.

This was done a dozen years ago - the Prius is an historic icon and as battery costs drop it is approaching significant market share.

Or you could eliminate the battery and motors, add it to a 'normal' 5 speed manual vehicle and make it into a Corolla fighter.

But as a cost-is-no-object concept car, it's interesting and creative - nothing more.

The use of a small range extender and small battery for a high performance vehicle is proven by this prototype. AC Propulsion demonstrated its range extended TZERO many years ago, and its protype used Lead-Acid batteries. A higher energy EFFPOWER Lead-Acid bipolar battery would work well for a cheaper car. This is certainly much more user friendly than setting up the first programable video cassette recorders. In fact the clock was almost impossible to set. A moving computer game. ..HG..

ToppaTom,

Your right about the Prius. One gets bombarded with the projected GM Volt $40,000 prices. I should have written $20,000 or a Volt 230 mpg.

The Volt priced at $37,500 with $7500 back would put it at $30,000 for the consumer. It is not a crossover SUV, but could sell at that level.

If the goal is to build the lightest possible car, the Aixro XR50 Rotary Kart engine is only 17 Kg of weight (less than 40 lbs) and has 48 horsepower. This means more batteries (and therefore longer range) or a higher power to weight ratio and therefore even higher acceleration.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Green Car Congress © 2014 BioAge Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Home | BioAge Group