Lotus has confirmed its plans to make its first all-new production car since 2008, the Type 130, which it is hailing the ‘world's first electric British hypercar’. What does this mean for Britain, electrification and the automotive industry?
The model was announced at this year’s Shanghai International Auto Show.
The Type 130 is billed as being the first electric British hypercar, and will be revealed in full later this year in London.
Little details have been released about the car as yet, but the Norfolk-based manufacturer has called it a “technical tour de force”.
The news arrived after Lotus’ parent company Geely would begin manufacturing cars in the Hubei province of China from a new £1bn factory, construction on which has just commenced.
Lotus was acquired by the Chinese automotive giant in 2017, and last year sold just 1,630 units. Lotus said the Type 130 is in “advanced stages of development.”
Climate change spurs electrification
Electric vehicles provide exploitable opportunities to the UK, it is a technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease local air pollution, and it offers substantial export options.
As concerns over the impacts of climate change continue to be raised, British automotive manufacturers are committing and switching over production to make electric vehicles.
Pressures from environmentalists and the government are spurring all industries to embrace a more environmentally friendly strategy that aligns to the Paris Agreement.
Supply chains in the automotive sector are extremely complex.
For manufacturers in the sector to embrace electrification, as many including Britain’s biggest automotive manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover have pledged, it will mean high costs and a complete restructure of current systems.
However, it was reported that ministers are considering backing a £1.7bn ‘Tesla-style’ factory to build electric batteries for the UK’s biggest car makers.
A shared factory would ease the pain of the large upfront investment costs associated if each business were to build their own battery factory.
In 2013, only 3,500 electric cars were registered in the UK, that number has now grown to over 195,000. This will continue to rise as recent legislation introduced means that there will be a phasing-out of petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles by 2040.
Customers will see benefits too, a report from Deloitte also predicted that by 2021, the cost of battery powered electric vehicles will match that of traditionally fuelled cars in the UK.
People may not be willing to ditch their petrol car and purchase an EV just yet, but research The Manufacturer reported on previously showed that consumers are willing to pay 13% more on their energy bill, for greener energy sources. This shows a shift in consumer attitudes toward energy consumption.
Earlier this month (April 8) London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was also rolled out in Central London. This means that cars and vans will need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards (ULEZ standards) or drivers are required to pay a daily charge of £12.50 to travel within the area. This potentially on top of London’s £11.50 congestion charge.
Aston Martin reveals Rapide E
Lotus’ news comes alongside Aston Martin who announced in Shanghai its first electric model, Rapide E, is now ready for production.
The Rapide E features 800V battery system encased in carbon fibre and Kevlar casing.
It will be built at its St Athan, South Wales production facility, and will have a top speed of 155mph.
A dedicated app also allows key information from the car to be remotely monitored. Rapide E is the first step towards achieving the company’s wider electrification objectives.
You may also like:
- Is Govt’s latest competitiveness initiative enough to safeguard UK automotive?
- Rich Energy: Using Design Thinking to accelerate a global brand
- Driving UK electrification: £50m battery centre opened in Coventry
- Pininfarina Battista: The most powerful road car ever (and it’s electric!)
- Electromobility: Leading the charge