Electric Vehicles

Lotus Evija hypercar enters initial build phase in the UK

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The Lotus Evija is moving from sexy proposition to hypercard reality. The model is the first-ever British all-electric hypercar and it has the looks and powertrain to make an instant impact during track days worldwide.

Sporting a name that means "the first in existence", the Evija boasts a 1972-horsepower output, sub-three second zero to 62 mph time, and a top speed over 200 mph. The model is the first project launched at Lotus under its Geely stewardship. Geely also owns Lynk & Co, Volvo, and Polestar among other brands that are less familiar to Americans like PROTON.

Meet the Lotus Evija Video courtesy of YouTube

The car's all-electric powertrain was co-developed with Williams Automotive Engeineering, the company behind many Formula One and Formula E successes. Its battery pack is mid-mounted directly behind the coupe's two seats, supplying energy to four motors. Lotus says that the, "highly efficient system is the lightest, most energy dense, electric power package ever fitted to a road car."

Power is stored in the car's 2,000 kWh lithium-ion battery, which can accept an 800kW charge and be fully loaded in just nine minutes. However, charging infrastructure for 800 kW charging is not currently in place. On readily available 350 kWh charging devices, the the Evija's charge time will be 12 mins to 80 percent and 18 mins to full. The car's range is 250 miles on the WLTP Combined Cycle, or 270 miles on the NEDC Combined Cycle.

The Evija's charging port is located at its rear.

Lotus has given the car a F1-style steering wheel and five drive modes: Range, City, Tour, Sport and Track.

Lotus is targeting a total vehicle weight of just 3703 pounds.

Lotus Evija

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The car ports a carbon fiber body.

Evija is built for speed. It sports a carbon fiber body and a ride height of just 105 mm, meaning a can of soda won't even fit below the car's splitter. The four-wheel drive auto features a full carbon fiber chassis. It has a rear spoiler and F1-style Drag Reduction System. At the back is a ribbon-style light signature designed to remind admirers of fighter jets. The Lotus badge illuminates as well.

The car's four radiators and dynamic exterior design aid with cooling, allowing the Evija to be driven flat out with no derate for at least seven minutes in Track mode.

Inside the cabin, the car features a "floating wing" dashboard. "The shape is inspired by the company's prototype racing cars of the late Fifties and early Sixties," said Russell Carr, Design Director, Lotus Cars. "It has a beauty and an elegance to it, and represents a typically Lotus approach because it performs multiple functions. It houses the instrument panel and air ducts, and is also an integral structural support. It reinforces Colin Chapman's cast-iron rule that no Lotus component goes along for a free ride."

A unique sloping center console features additional controls for the car including those for the climate and audio systems. It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Passengers get in and out of the vehicle via two dihedral doors. The hands-free doors are operated via a key fob.

Lotus Evija Makes Dynamic Debut www.youtube.com

Production will be limited to 130 models.

The Cruise Origin self-driving vehicle has been revealed.

Photo courtesy of Cruise LLC

Cruise has passed on a steering wheel, a rearview mirror, and pedals in its new Origin electric vehicle. The ride share mobility solution debuted last night in San Francisco was co-developed by the arm of General Motors in cooperation with Honda.

In addition to the self-driving aspect of the news, the biggest innovation with the vehicle is that it is nothing like the any other GM alternative fuel mobility solution. There's not really speck of Bolt in the design.

It's actually more like the Navy shuttle than the Bolt, resembling the most modern of train cars. Its exterior is smooth and not aerodynamic. Its sliding doors open wide via a sliding mechanism rather than outward like a traditional car door. There's a display area featuring a number on the outside of the vehicle to help with rider-vehicle identification.

The Origin is the same size as a full-size sedan but seats six in a different configuration than the typical car. It has a 78-inch height, which means it can still park in most garages.

Inside, the vehicle seats six on two sets of three seats that share a large space for legroom and bags.

What's more notable is what the Origin is lacking. There's no driver's seat, pedals, steering wheel, windshield wipers, gauges, nor rearview mirror. Because there's no driver, there's no need for that. Cruise has said that the vehicle features SAE Level 4 autonomy. In layman's terms, that means that a computer controls all the functionality of the vehicle and is contained within its service area only by things like a speed limiter or geofence.

Its software has been co-developed by GM and Honda.

Cruise hasn't divulged powertrain or range information.

In January, the federal government released a new set of guidelines concerning self-driving vehicles.

Under Cruise's plans, no individual will own the Origin. The ride sharing vehicles will be summoned via an app and offer ride service to anywhere in the vehicle's service area. The defined regions of the service area and fares associated with a ride have yet to be announced.

So, it's just an app-controlled electric short bus, right? Yes.

Cruise says that the model is ready for production and plans to that end will be announced shortly.

Subaru recently debuted its VIZIV Tourer concept.

Photo courtesy of Subaru Corporation

Subaru has a goal. By 2030, they want at least 40 percent of their globals sales to come from electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles. To get there, the automaker will be continuing to work on electrification via the application of the technology to Subaru's current lineup.

"Although we're using Toyota technology, we want to make hybrids that are distinctly Subaru," Chief Technology Officer, Tetsuo Onuki, recently commented to Reuters. "It's not only about reducing CO2 emissions. We need to further improve vehicle safety and the performance of our all-wheel drive."

Subaru VIZIV Touring concept the VIZIV Touring concept has a WRX-like front end.Photo courtesy of Subaru Corporation

At first, this plan likely means more model variants in the same vein as the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. Reuters has reported that the first new model that will enter the Subaru lineup under this plan will be a "strong hybrid" vehicle using Toyota technology. But, it's not coming until later this decade. Subaru previously activated this partnership in the marketplace to launch the Crosstrek Hybrid.

The automakers are also working together to launch an all-battery electric car (BEV) around that time as well.

Don't set your calendar yet. Plans are continually developing and timelines are bound to shift as the market for new vehicles changes. Subaru will likely keep the public updated as their plans develop by releasing concept car versions of their designs ahead of any big news.