Lotus & Britishvolt team up to develop batteries
Lotus has reached an agreement with Britishvolt on the joint development of battery cells for electric sports cars from the Geely brand. In this context, Lotus has published a design sketch for a future electric sports car.
The manufacturer is planning four electric models between 2022 and 2026. The first three models will be two SUVs and a four-door coupé. It is only in 2026 that an all-new electric sports car, previously called the ‘Type 135’, is to be launched, as Lotus announced in August.
According to the current announcement on the Britishvolt cooperation, the ‘Type 135’ is likely to be any model in which the Britishvolt cells are installed for the first time. Neither Lotus nor Britishvolt currently give an exact date for when the jointly developed cells are to go into production. However, the wording that the battery cell package is to be used “in a new sports car” only suggests the ‘Type 135’ planned for 2026 – unless Lotus has changed its model planning since August.
There had been speculation about a collaboration between the two companies for some weeks. When Britishvolt secured a multi-million government grant in January and two major investments based on it, Lotus was reported in several media as a buyer. At the time, however, both companies were still denying it.
What kind of cells the joint project will involve is not clear from the announcements. “These are the first exciting steps towards an all-new electric sports car from Lotus and another step towards the transformation towards sustainable, renewable energy stored in batteries,” commented Matt Windle, Managing Director of Lotus Cars, in rather general terms.
Britishvolt simply stated that the knowledge gained from the development of high-performance cells would also influence the cell chemistry of affordable batteries and electric vehicles. Britishvolt is also working with UKBIC to develop the next generation of batteries. “This MoU demonstrates that the legacy one-size-fits-all cell strategy is no longer valid in the rapidly developing electric mobility market,” says Oliver Jones, Chief Commercial Officer, Britishvolt. “It also reinforces Britishvolt’s differentiation strategy of close customer intimacy and partnering to fully optimize battery solutions and enable the differentiation so important to these iconic brands & products.”