March 9, 2007: 4Car News—Geneva 2007
Summary: Lotus may have come up with a solution for people who complain that the limited number of hybrids available doesn’t satisfy consumers’ desire for diversity and beauty.
"The EVE (Efficient, Variable, Environmental) system is claimed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from 172g/km to 134g/km and improve fuel consumption from 39.2mpg to 50.2mpg when fitted to the Proton 1.6-litre petrol engine. It incorporates stop-start starter-alternator technology to turn off the engine when idling, and can operate in fully electric mode as well as using its electrical power to supplement the petrol engine’s output. This prototype is capable of delivering up to 141bhp, 118mph and 0-60mph in nine seconds. "
The best thing about the concept isn’t the body it happens to be in, but the fact that Lotus plans to market the hybrid system as a powertrain option for manufacturers. If widely adopted, it could go a long way toward reducing the initial cost of hybrid variants on existing models.