An engineering partnership led by Lotus, the sports car manufacturer which is setting up an advanced technology centre in Warwickshire, has won Government funding to develop a new electric car platform.
The news was confirmed today by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). The funding is awarded as part of the APC’s Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (ARMD) competition.
Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the competition is delivered on behalf of the APC by Cenex, the UK’s Low Carbon and Fuel Cells Centre of Excellence.
The successful application is called LEVA, which stands for Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture. Led by Lotus, it is targeting the acceleration of and innovation behind new lightweight structures for next-generation BEVs.
Lotus will collaborate with supply chain partner Sarginsons Industries, based in Coventry, and academics from Brunel University London.
Matt Windle, executive director of engineering, Lotus, said: “This is great news for our industry and its transition to electrification. As a collaboration between Lotus, Sarginsons Industries and Brunel University London there is a wealth of talent involved, and we are excited to have already begun the project work. Following the launch of the Lotus Evija, our all-electric 2,000 PS hypercar, this project is a key building block in our vision to deliver a full range of electrified Lotus performance cars ‘For The Drivers’. Funding of this nature is critical to stimulate the automotive industry and supply chain as both continue to adjust to a rapidly changing landscape.”
Anthony Evans, managing director of Sarginsons, said: “This is an extremely exciting partnership between ourselves, Brunel University London and Lotus and will see us helping develop a chassis for a brand new electric vehicle.
“The fact that Lotus recently announced a base in our region was great news in itself but to now be working with such a prestigious, high-performance brand is excellent for Sarginsons and for the supply chain.
“The development of the new alloy with Brunel University London is another example of our commitment to innovation and our continued investment in research and technology.
“What makes it even more exciting is the fact that we have the opportunity to work with other OEMs in the development of lightweight vehicles in the future by utilising this new alloy, which is based on our own existing alloy.
“It’s a big step for Sarginsons – a game changer – at a very exciting time for the company.”