When you picture a Lotus, what do you see? Perhaps the iconic Esprit of the 1970s or the modern head-turner that is the Lotus Elise? Well now when you think Lotus, you can think green.
The automotive consultancy division of the company has won two contracts approved by the UK Government Technology Strategy Board. The two projects will be allocated a share of £23million, to be spread among 16 low carbon vehicle development programmes. With investments from other companies, including Lotus, it is expected that £52million will be poured into these innovations.
The first is the ‘Zero Emission London Taxi Commercialisation' project, which will see the introduction of commercial fleets of zero-emission fuel cell hybrid taxis. They are expected to appear in London in 2012, and if successful will reach out to other cities by 2014.
As part of its role in the project, Lotus will integrate the fuel cell engine with the drive train and hydrogen storage system.
The second project is known as ‘Limo-Green' which aims to create a large, prestigious luxury saloon car with vehicle emissions below 120g/km. It will take a Jaguar as its basis and Lotus Engineering will provide a number of auxiliary power units and technical support for their implementation into the vehicle. With a high power output and ultra-high thermal efficiency, the units provide the best of both worlds - high power with excellent efficiency.
It is hoped that these projects will help establish Britain as one of the frontrunners in the race to produce green cars.
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