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Lotus Range Extender Engine Heading for Series Production

A collaboration between Lotus Engineering and Fagor Ederlan will develop the 3-cylinder Lotus Range Extender Engine (earlier post) for series production.

Lotus Engineering, the automotive consultancy division of Lotus Cars Limited, and Fagor Ederlan, part of the Mondragon Corporation Cooperativa, have completed a joint technical and market study analysing the best route to production for the Lotus Range Extender Engine. The study has culminated with an agreement for Lotus Engineering to develop the engine for series production and sale by Fagor Ederlan for the global automotive market.

The three-cylinder, 1.2-liter Range Extender engine from Lotus Engineering has been designed specifically for series hybrid vehicles and the production engine will offer a fast route to market for manufacturers wanting to source a dedicated range extender, the partners said.

The high-efficiency, low-mass design will enable low emissions vehicles to be produced cost effectively across a wide range of hybrid vehicle applications, as already demonstrated in both the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid (earlier post) and the PROTON Emas concepts (earlier post), which were shown at the 80th International Geneva Motor Show this year.



This is great let's see the price.

I'm betting on about $2,000 with decent volumes.


If an HEV uses 30% less fuel or even a BAS with supercaps uses 15% less fuel, that beats E10 by quite a margin. We go with what works the best for the lowest cost. Replacing 100 million cars will take a while, but retrofitting BAS or upgrading to M85/FFV can be done more rapidly at a lower cost.

That says that we could upgrade cars with supercap BAS and an FFV conversion and really reduce the amount of gasoline burned. Coming CAFE standards will help motivate the car makers to think in new ways, but we still have a lot of cars out there. Felix Kramer and CalCars may have the right idea, but an expensive implementation.


Installed in a small ultra compact aerodynamic, one or two wheel power trailer, with enough fuel for 500 Km, this could produce a lower cost PHEV out of a lower cost BEV equipped with a smaller battery, on an as required basis. Most people would leave the small power trailer in their garage 90+% of the time. Alternatively, if could be a plug-in quickly removable or a permanent on-board power genset.


The Tzero had a trailer with steerable wheels for better handling and backing up. If you could make a quiet light engine/alternator set with storage, it might catch on. It would be sort of an extra trunk for those longer trips.


Just rent the trailer when you need one. Get the small or large model depending on the purpose of the trip. Even retrofits work; slap a sustainer on the back end of your tent camper with the fuel tank on the tongue (protected from collisions). As a bonus, you get all the juice you could want while you're in camp.


A sweet package and, just like the Volt ICE, enough hp for seamless transfer -

but it is bigger than us purests would like and most importantly, and almost certainly, too costly for most auto makers that do not want to create their own ICE gen-set.


Renting the genset trailer sounds good, until you figure how much they would cost and what you could charge. Let's say that they are mostly rented on the weekends and cost $5000, so you have to charge $50 for the weekend. You can rent a car for that and put the miles on their vehicle.

Car rentals rent all week to business people and the car repair business. They make their money back during the week and give good rates for the weekends. The genset trailer rental business may be the opposite and would be hard to payback the costs when they sit idle during the week. It sounds good until you go through the scenarios and numbers.


At about $2500 (when mass produced) many people would buy the trailer genset and downsize the BEV batteries to pay for it.


Well, we will see. I am skeptical of the trailer concept, even though it sounds good at first. People just don't like trailers, IMO. They put up with them for various reasons but they become an expense that is seldom used and take up space.


The same with lots of garden equipment like tillers, but there is a thriving rental business just for that reason.

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