Coventry automotive specialist Sarginsons Industries, has been selected to work with legendary British sports car maker Lotus to develop the electric cars of the future.
The engineering partnership has won UK Government support and funding to develop an all-new, next-generation Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) architecture.
The cash injection comes as part of the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s (APC) Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (ARMD) competition.
Funded by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the competition is delivered on behalf of the APC by Cenex, the UK’s Low Carbon and Fuel Cells Centre of Excellence.
The winning application involving Lotus and Sarginsons is called LEVA, which stands for Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture.
Led by Lotus, it is targeting the acceleration of and innovation behind new lightweight structures for next-generation BEVs.
Incorporating cutting-edge UK-based engineering and digital manufacturing expertise, LEVA will be a showcase for pioneering new BEV chassis and powertrain concepts.
Lotus will collaborate with supply chain partner Sarginsons and academics from Brunel University London to harness the full ‘light-weighting’ potential of the vehicle architecture.
Sarginsons will develop the vehicle chassis with a new alloy and the company’s commitment to Design for Manufacture (DfM) principles and technology means that the new product will be tested for stresses and distortions before it is cast and makes the development phase even more efficient.
Anthony Evans, managing director of Sarginsons, said: “This is an extremely exciting partnership between ourselves, Brunel University London and Lotus and will see us helping develop a chassis for a brand new electric vehicle.
“The fact that Lotus recently announced a base in our region was great news in itself but to now be working with such a prestigious, high-performance brand is excellent for Sarginsons and for the supply chain.”
Mr Evans added: “The development of the new alloy with Brunel University London is another example of our commitment to innovation and our continued investment in research and technology.
“What makes it even more exciting is the fact that we have the opportunity to work with other OEMs in the development of lightweight vehicles in the future by utilising this new alloy, which is based on our own existing alloy.
“It’s a big step for Sarginsons – a game changer – at a very exciting time for the company.”
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Lotus’s executive director of engineering Matt Windle said: “This is great news for our industry and its transition to electrification.
“As a collaboration between Lotus, Sarginsons Industries and Brunel University London there is a wealth of talent involved, and we are excited to have already begun the project work.
“Following the launch of the Lotus Evija, our all-electric 2,000 PS hypercar, this project is a key building block in our vision to deliver a full range of electrified Lotus performance cars ‘For The Drivers’.
“Funding of this nature is critical to stimulate the automotive industry and supply chain as both continue to adjust to a rapidly changing landscape.”
More details on Project LEVA will be released by Lotus and its partners in due course.
The latest announcement further strengthens Lotus’s growing presence in the Midlands.
In July the Norfolk-based car maker announced it is to set up an operation in Warwickshire in a move which could create hundreds of jobs.
The company will create a dedicated and specialist advanced technology centre, which will also be home to a new headquarters for the company’s engineering consultancy Lotus Engineering.
It will be located on the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne Campus, as part of a partnership with WMG at the University of Warwick.
Group Lotus is based in Hethel, Norfolk, UK. It is part of Geely Automotive, which also owns the London Electric Vehicle Company, the Coventry firm which makes the famous London taxi .
Geely has a 51% controlling stake in Lotus, with 49% owned by Etika Automotive, a Malaysian conglomerate.
Lotus Cars builds world-class, high-performance sports cars including the Evora, Elise and Exige ranges.
In July 2019 it launched the Evija, the world’s first all-electric British hypercar. Production will start in 2021..
Lotus Engineering provides a comprehensive consultancy service which works with many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. It is internationally recognised for its long-standing contribution to ground-breaking automotive engineering and vehicle development.