Issue: Jan 2007


ZAP and Lotus Engineering to Carry Out Feasibility Study for New Electric Car Concepts



by Rob White

ZAP is moving forward with an aggressive programme to stay at the forefront of advanced transportation with new technologies and products. ZAP selected Lotus Engineering, one of the world's leading automotive design consultancies, to undertake engineering concept studies for a number of electric vehicles.

The feasibility study is a comprehensive research project into the creation of a new generation of ultra-efficient electric automobiles from concept to production. Of particular interest in the project is the challenge of advancing the electric car market by incorporating new technologies which will maximize the consumer appeal.

Mike Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus plc, said: "Initial assessments conducted by ZAP indicate that there is a strong opportunity to create a new generation of electric cars that provide a superior driving experience while being practical and affordable. We will use our automotive technology background to look in greater detail at a range of factors to produce a detailed analysis of these opportunities."

Steve Schneider, CEO of ZAP, said: "This feasibility study is a critical part of the programme that will clearly identify the correct direction that future work should take. With the appropriate diligence at this stage we can look forward to incredibly exciting design and development projects that meet the real needs of the market head on."

The study, with input from Lotus Engineering's technical centers in Hethel, UK, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will look at a variety of critical success factors. These cover several technical issues including the integration of major components, new motor designs, controllers, batteries and charging systems. Marketing considerations such as styling, performance, and features will be studied, as well as manufacturing process engineering, project timing and costs.

The goal in the feasibility study phase will be to provide a comprehensive analysis to support ZAP in the process of commercializing the new automobile concepts.

Lotus Engineering has been behind the design and construction of some of the most successful cars in history and is one of the world's premier automotive consultancies with engineering centers in Asia, North America and Europe.

Employed by many of the major car manufacturers, Lotus Engineering maintains a strong tradition of excellence in the automotive business with cutting-edge engineering expertise, and talented, visionary staff. Lotus Engineering offers full engineering services capable of taking a project from initial concept and product design, through development, testing and prototype build, as well as production and production support.

Lotus is one of only two OEMs that has experience in designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing its own products offering this range of expert services to third parties. This gives Lotus a highly respected premium position in today's automotive industry. For more information, visit www.grouplotus.com


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