Innovation: Lotus Evija
Lotus paves the way for fast-charge battery future.
Bleeding-edge battery technology developed for Lotus’ halo Evija hypercar could lead the way for mass-market electric vehicles, finds Jonathan Musk.
An unlikely car to feature amongst the pages of Fleet World, what could Lotus’ stunning electric hypercar possibly have to do with fleets?
The Evija (pronounced ev-eye-ah) is a hypercar like no other. With 2,000hp, 0-186mph in around nine seconds and a price tag starting from £1.75m, there’s precious little here of interest to fleets.
However, the mid-battery-mounted hypercar is a technology tour-de-force that’s been co-developed by not only world-renowned Lotus engineers, but also by the boffins at Williams Advanced Engineering. While these two engineering powerhouses certainly know a thing or two about racing cars, it’s the battery technology that interests most.
Lotus belongs to Geely – the Chinese company that turned Volvo on its head to become the globally appreciated brand it is today – and under its investment, Geely sees Lotus as its flagship brand. It’s a small wonder that Lotus never really capitalised on its prestigious racing and road car history; unlike McLaren that’s now a household name based on its Ferrari-rivalling supercars, starting with the F1 introduced in the mid-90s. Lotus has a longer history, yet the last time it produced a new car was 2008 when the Evora debuted.
11 years on, Lotus’ new-found (Geely-controlled) deep pockets mean its engineers have been unleashed to do what they should have been doing three decades ago – producing world-beating cars under their own brand name.
Evija sets the bar very high. Its 70kWh battery offers a 250-mile WLTP-rated range, but here’s the really impressive part; it’s capable of 0-80% charge in five and a half minutes. 0-100% takes less than 10 minutes. While the company isn’t yet disclosing its battery supplier, the point is its 800kW-capable charging acceptance sets a new standard for rapidity and that can only be a good thing for future electric vehicles.
Evija proves battery-electric car potential and with Geely’s might beneath it, it’s conceivable that over time its cutting-edge technology will filter into mass production, benefit from economies of scale, and ultimately power the next Polestar, Volvo and even LEVC van or taxi in years to come.