Lightweight electric vehicle programme led by Lotus gets government backing

An engineering partnership that is working towards innovations in lightweight structures for electric vehicles has been given government funding.

The Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture (LEVA) program is being led by sports car manufacturer Lotus and will use UK-based engineering and digital manufacturing to showcase pioneering electric vehicle chassis and powertrain concepts.

Lotus LEVA
Lotus LEVA

The Norfolk-based firm is also working with supply chain partner Sarginsons Industries as well as academics at Brunel University London to focus on reducing weight in EVs, which are often considerably heavier than their traditionally powered equivalents. This has knock-on effects in handling, ride quality and efficiency.

Matt Windle, executive director of engineering at 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 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.”

Lotus has a long-standing reputation for building sports cars that focus on reducing weight as much as possible. The Lotus Evija is its first electric car, and will have an estimated 1,972bhp, top speed in excess of 200mph, and a range of 215 miles.