Lotus and battery cell expert Britishvolt have announced they will collaborate on the research and development of advanced new electric vehicle (EV) technology. The partnership will focus on the co-development of an innovative new battery cell package to power the next generation of electric sports cars from Lotus.
The package is set to feature in a new sports car powered by Britishvolt cells and utilising advanced electric propulsion technologies developed by Lotus. An official design sketch offers a few clues of what the new Lotus electric sports car will look like
Britishvolt, who recently announced plans to build UK battery Gigaplant, is the UK’s foremost investor in battery cell technologies and associated research and development to create homegrown intellectual property. The key focuses of the partnership will be fast-charging, optimising energy density and weight reduction for greater efficiency.
Development work on the project will benefit from the close proximity of Lotus and Britishvolt’s R&D centres of excellence in the West Midlands, the UK’s ‘golden triangle’ of battery excellence.
The collaboration with Britishvolt is another significant development in the ongoing transformation of Lotus, from a UK sports car company to a global and all-electric performance car business and brand.
This follows a £100 million investment by Lotus in its UK facilities, including manufacturing centres at Hethel for the Evija pure-electric hypercar and Emira sports car. This will help to future-proof the world-renowned and innovative UK high-performance auto sector and the thousands of jobs that it supports.
Matt Windle, Lotus Cars managing director, said: “Lotus is delighted to be collaborating with Britishvolt to develop new battery cell technology to showcase the thrilling performance that a Lotus EV sports car can deliver.
“These are the first exciting steps on the journey towards an all-new electric sports car from Lotus and yet another step towards the transformation towards sustainable, renewable electricity stored in batteries.”
“Last year we committed Lotus to a pure-electric future and in the first month of this year, we announce another significant step on that journey. In the coming months we will be unveiling the Type 132, an all-new and all-electric Lotus SUV and we’ve confirmed three more EVs are on the way.”
Oliver Jones, Britishvolt chief commercial officer, said: “This memorandum of understanding (MoU) demonstrates that the legacy one-size-fits-all cell strategy is no longer valid in the rapidly developing electric mobility market.
“It also reinforces Britishvolt’s differentiation strategy of close customer intimacy and partnering to fully optimise battery solutions and enable the differentiation so important to these iconic brands & products.
“As in Formula 1, this high-performance research and development will ultimately cascade down to influence the electro chemistries of more affordable batteries and EVs.”
All future Lotus cars will be pure-electric and inspired by the Evija, deliveries of which commence this year as the world’s first British electric hypercar.
Britishvolt is on target to responsibly manufacture some of the world’s most sustainable, low carbon battery cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard located in Cambois, Northumberland.
The development is a major boost for Northumberland, and indeed the country, and will bring around 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000 plus jobs in the associated supply chains.
Advanced works started on the site on September 6, 2021, following a unanimous planning decision approval earlier in the year. The project will be built in phases, to keep up with technology advancements, and will have a total capacity of over 30GWh by the end of the decade onwards.