Lotus debuts new lightweight, modular EV architecture

Lotus’ new EV-specific architecture will work with multiple wheelbases, seating configurations and power levels.


Lotus

We’ve known for a while now that the Emira will be Lotus‘ last internal-combustion-powered model, but the company’s kept quiet about what its next-generation cars will be like from an engineering standpoint. Now, thanks to an announcement on Tuesday, that picture is getting a little clearer.

Lotus is debuting its Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture, which is not only lightweight but modular. This means that the folks in Hethel can use this one architecture for a variety of models, including the electric SUVs it talked about earlier this year. Lotus claims that a LEVA-construction rear subframe is upwards of 37% lighter than the unit found in the forthcoming Emira V6, and that car isn’t what anyone would call portly.

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Batteries can live under the floor or behind the seats.


Lotus

Lotus provided figures for three different configurations of LEVA-based vehicles, with two different battery pack layouts. The “slab” pack is slated for use in two-plus-two models and can accommodate a pack of up to 66.4 kilowatt-hours. Lotus also has figures for two differing two-seater versions, each using a “chest” style pack that mounts behind the seats rather than on the floor. These can accommodate either 66.4- or 99.6-kilowatt-hour packs.

The company isn’t going into great detail about the LEVA construction style and how it’s so much lighter than other methods beyond saying that it will use spot welding, “cold cure,” which we assume means panel bond adhesive, and “advanced weld processes.” Lotus plans to use LEVA for its own vehicles and also in designs for clients of Lotus Engineering. This means that we could see LEVA in more affordable and less sporting models in the coming years.

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