Even though the Lotus Eletre, the brand’s first production EV and SUV, is only expected to go into full production in 2023, the first one reportedly rolled off the production a few weeks ago. It was assembled at the brand new $1.2-billion facility in Wuhan, China and it marks the beginning of a brand new era for the British sports car manufacturer.
Geely bought 51 percent of Lotus in 2017 and since then it has injected funds into the company, helping it launch the new Emira and develop the Evija electric supercar. Production of these models will stay in the UK, but all other future Lotus EVs, especially the ones built on the new bespoke platform that debuted with the Eletre.
This first ever SUV from Lotus has a dual-motor setup that gives it 591 horsepower, a battery pack with over 100 kWh and a projected range of 370 miles (600 km) on one charge. There will be more powerful variants reportedly with over 900 horsepower, but those have not been confirmed yet, and it’s also been speculated that the battery capacity may be as high as 120 kWh.
Gallery: Lotus Eletre at Goodwood FoS 2022
After launching the Eletre in 2023, Lotus plans to introduce two more high-riding crossover type vehicles and then its first all-electric sports car; all of them will be on the market in five years’ time.
The sports car known as the Type 135 EV will be roughly the same size as today’s Emira and it should be revealed in 2026. There will be some overlap between these two models before the Emira is phased out and once that happens, it will be interesting to see if Lotus continues to build cars at its Hethel facility in the UK or if it moves all production to China.
The company says it wants to sell 100,000 globally by 2027, even though in 2021 it only sold under 2,000 cars.
Lotus also wants to vastly expand its presence in China where it intends to have 50 locations open in 20 cities, but it says it will also concentrate on European countries too, especially those where EVs are popular like Norway, the Netherlands or Germany.