Lotus Ethos: on sale 2014
June 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
Lotus has confirmed that it is going to make a city car: the Ethos, developed from the Proton EMAS concepts, will be on sale in early 2014. It will have either an all-electric or a hybrid powertrain (the prototype seen at last year’s Paris Motor Show, pictured, featured the 1.2-litre ‘Omnivore’ range-extender), and will be priced at around £30,000.
This rival to the Aston Martin Cygnet will share its platform and powertrain with more mainstream (and much cheaper) Proton models, but whilst all versions will be built in Malaysia, the Ethos will then be finished off and given an exclusive-to-Lotus finish at the company’s HQ in Norfolk. Production of 1500-1800 is anticipated, and Lotus boss Dany Bahar has promised that the Ethos will have all the dynamics and style expected of a Lotus.
- Whilst Ricardo is looking at split-cycle tech for HGVs (see post below), Wisconsin firm Odyne Systems is developing hybrid set-ups for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. It’s just presented a plug-in hybrid system using Remy motors and incorporating regenerative braking and launch assist; this is intended for work trucks which carry out on-site duties from fixed positions, such as powering machinery. This can be retro-fitted, giving fuel economy improvements of up to 50%; more at Green Car Congress.
- The European Commission is funding a research project to study e-mobility and multi-transport mode integration – basically, the development of a joined-up network linking renewably-powered EVs, trains and other forms of transport, using the current road/rail infrastructure. The project will be led by Better Place (yep, battery-swap stations will feature in the plan, with facilities opening first in Copenhagen and Amsterdam) with other partners including the Technical University of Denmark and city authorities. Full story at Green Car Congress.
- More Better Place and battery-swapping: the partnership with Renault is to bring the Fluence ZE to Australia, in Canberra from mid-2012. Other locations will follow as the battery-swap (and conventional recharging) network is developed. Better Place says Australia will have the largest charging network in the world, with 100% renewable-source electricity, and that the country is well-suited to battery-swaps as drivers typically travel long distances beyond normal EV range (the Fluence ZE only does 115 miles to a full charge at the moment).