Lotus has started dynamic and durability testing of a Range Extender Hybrid Electric Vehicle (REEV) version of the Evora sports car. The new Lotus Evora 414E is a hybrid technology demonstrator being developed for a consortium, which includes three vehicle manufacturers and several automotive component manufacturers.
The Evora 414E is powered by two electric motor packs driving the rear wheels through its Xtrac transmission. It has a battery pack that can be charged by the Lotus range extender engine or run directly from the power produced by the gasoline engine.
The gasoline engine is a three-cylinder Lotus range extender engine designed to run on either gasoline or renewable bio alcohol fuels (methanol and ethanol). It drives an EVO electric generator that produces electrical energy to either charge the battery pack or power the EVO traction motors directly depending on the system need.
In normal driving, the Evora 414E will run purely on electricity stored in the battery pack for up to 30 miles (48 km). When the battery power is used, the gasoline engine provides the electric power for the drive motors directly through the Xtrac 1092 transmission.
Should the driver require more performance, under hard acceleration, for example, the electricity will come from both the battery storage and the small range extender engine.
Simon Corbett, Principal Vehicle Dynamics Test and Development Engineer at Lotus Engineering, has been doing the majority of the development testing, over the last few weeks. He describes the car like this, “The Evora S has 400 Nm of torque which in such a lightweight car is already a healthy figure. However, the Evora 414E has two and a half times that amount! The acceleration sensation is almost indescribable, the surge of torque is like an ocean wave!”
The 414E accelerates form 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph.
The consortium behind the REEV program is led by Jaguar Land Rover and includes Axeon Technologies Ltd, EVO Electric Ltd and Xtrac Limited, along with Lotus and Nissan Motor Company Ltd. for the Infiniti brand.