Lotus Engineering, the automotive consultancy division of Lotus, has won two contracts of Zero Emission London Taxi Commercialization and Limo-Green as part of winning project consortia announced by the U.K. Government Technology Strategy Board.
The Zero Emission London Taxi Commercialization project will see the introduction of commercial fleets of zero-emission fuel cell hybrid taxis primarily for London by 2012, and other cities in U.K. by 2014.
Lotus Engineering will integrate the fuel cell engine with the electric drive train and hydrogen storage system, firstly bench testing, then integrating them back into a ‘buck’ vehicle and finally packaging the assembly into two taxis for full vehicle testing.
The Limo-Green project, takes a Jaguar as a basis for the development proving out the concept of a large luxury hybrid executive saloon, utilizing an advanced drive motor, small battery pack and a small Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for sustained cruising. The project aims to demonstrate a large, prestigious executive saloon with less than 120 g/km emissions.
These two project consortia will be allocated part of a total 23 million pounds for 16 innovative low carbon vehicle development programs. Including investments from companies such as Lotus, these projects collectively represent a total value of 52 million pounds.
Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus Plc said: “We are delighted to be major contributors to two of the low carbon vehicle development projects. There is a world-wide drive to reduce CO2 emission levels¡”
Commenting on the Technology Strategy Board’s investment in the two projects, its chief executive, Iain Gray, said: “We are delighted to invest in these important research, development and demonstration projects. Cleaner and more efficient vehicles are a vitally important part of our response to global climate change challenges and will help the U.K. to meet demanding new CO2 standards for new vehicles. This is why we are investing in innovative low-carbon technology development through the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform. Such innovative technology will also help position British companies to benefit from the growing domestic and international demand for lower carbon vehicles.”