British carmaker Lotus and Williams Advanced Engineering from the UK have joined hands for a “strategic technical partnership” for development and research into “advanced propulsion technologies”.
While neither of the companies have mentioned anything beyond their intentions to work together on new powertrains, one of the key drivers for the partnership specifically mentioned was Williams’ expertise in battery technology.
Williams Engineering has been developing battery technology alongside the British Formula One team for the all-electric Formula E series over the last four years. Apart from that, in 2017, the company also revealed a fully-electric ‘skateboard’ platform for production vehicles, purely intended for third-party usage.
Williams Engineering has been developing battery technology, alongside the British Formula One team, for Formula E.
Its collaboration with Lotus is completely new and the deal, as we speculate, intends to develop battery and electric propulsion technology specifically for the Lotus brand, rather than third parties.
The new collaboration could, however, be pointing at a plan to inject fresh impetus into the company’s lineup under it was acquired by Geely in 2017. This also hints that Lotus has ditched the idea to inherit powertrains from its sister brand Polestar in favour of bespoke engineering expertise from Williams Advanced Engineering.
Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars said, “Our new technology partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering is part of a strategy to expand our knowledge and capability in the rapidly changing automotive landscape. Applying advanced propulsion powertrains can provide numerous exciting solutions across multiple vehicle sectors.”
Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars stated that the new partnership with Williams Engineering is part of a strategy to expand knowledge and capability in the automotive landscape.
New Lotus plant in China
This news comes nearly two weeks after a few job advertisements and government documents from China suggested that the Geely holding group could be planning to start producing Lotus cars in its home turf for the first time. Reports suggest that the company has even opened a new $1.3 billion factory in Wuhan City in China.
With this, Lotus could be looking at greater production volumes and new models such as SUVs in order to boost sales. Currently, the British carmaker builds its cars in Norfolk, England. In a joint statement that was issued last month, the companies stated that while Norfolk was Lotus’ manufacturing home, a crucial aspect of reviving the company was to expand its global footprint.