Lotus Hopes to Sell Range-extender Tech to Big Automakers

Lotus has been developing a number of innovative new “green” technologies in recent years, with much attention being paid to its compact range-extending ICE generator, itself based on Lotus’ Omnivore engine technology.  Lotus first showed the system in their Evora 414E hybrid concept car last year.

As our longer-term readers might recall, I’ve tin-hatted myself into believing that Toyota is gunning for Lotus in a quest for yet more hybrid-fueled brand-equity on more than one occasion – so it is perhaps not surprising that Gas 2.0 editor Chris DeMorro’ earlier post about Fisker purchasing range-extenders for its new Karma sedan got me thinking … or, “thinking” at any rate.

Into that insanity, comes news that Lotus is actively shopping its range-extenders to other automakers – but who might they be?  Lotus’ little-engine-that-could has already shown up in Jaguar’s Limo Green concept car, so I’ve got to assume Jaguar  and sister-company Land Rover are on the list of potential buyers.  Today’s news from Fisker indicates they’re on the list … but who else?

Lotus’ project engineer Lee Jeffcoat claims there is interest from “several OEMs in 5,000-10,000 units annually, for a potential annual output of 30,000 engines.”  Lotus are no dummies, so if they’ve geared up to build “up to” 30,000 engines a year, I would be they plan on building 30,000 engines a year.  My guess is the same as it was in September:  Toyota is going to snap these up for use in an iQ-based extended range EV.

Now that I’ve been exposed to the iQ in person (and now that it’s become my new favorite car) I really hope that turns out to be true.

Source:  Lotus (press release), via Inside Line.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.