Lotus' EV Platform Seems Inspired by LEGO

While some supercar brands seem reluctant to join the EV revolution, Lotus is jumping in, full-tilt. How could the British brand’s innovations reshape the industry?
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Autmakers are all juiced up about the shift to
electric vehicles
, but the supercar segment is finding the transition a little more complicated than its more affordable peers. Initial reactions to government targets for
internal-combustion bans
had some brands lobbying for an exception. 
Most producers have dropped that strategy, but Lotus chose another route altogether. Instead of pushing against change, the legendary British automaker focused on developing solutions. 
The latest result of that positive mindset is the LEVA platform, a new customizable frame reminiscent to the building blocks the brand’s developers no-doubt played with as kids.
, your car ownership
super app
, dug around to learn more about Lotus’ new toy.

New EV platform preserves Lotus’ lightweight heritage

When Colin Chapman started Lotus in 1948, he founded the company on the concept of simplifying sports cars and making them lighter. Jeremiah Burton from
Donut Media
says that ethos is hard to hold onto as the industry moves toward electric powertrains.
You see,
EV batteries
are notoriously heavy. The Tesla Model S, for example, weighs 4,500 lbs, about the same as a Ford F-150. Lotus’ first electric model, the Eviya, comes in at 3,700 lbs, but that’s still much heavier than today’s gas-powered super cars.
To bring that number down, the company developed LEVA—lightweight electric vehicle architecture. Built out of a revolutionary dye-casted aluminum alloy, LEVA is light but also stronger than most auto parts. 
Lotus is making the new casting process commercially available to other automakers, and Alpine and Renault are already on board.
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How could Lotus’ new EV platform reshape the auto industry?

The innovations behind the LEVA platform go farther than adding lightness and strength. It also supports multiple configurations, allowing Lotus to design multiple models without having to start from scratch, much like
Lotus also built a new battery pack that can be stacked behind the seats for a short two-seater sports cars, or between the chassis—like a skateboard—for SUVs with longer wheelbases. 
On top of that, they developed software for analyzing the new battery’s health. Burton says the program creates a “digital twin” for each car, a sort of simulated prototype that helps the automaker pinpoint design flaws before creating physical mock-ups, saving them tons of money.
The adaptable platform and its safety software both have the potential to shake up the
auto industry
as it moves away from components designed for cars with internal combustion engines.

What will Lotus’ LEVA-built electric cars cost to own?

Lotuses are not what you would call affordable vehicles. But with the flexibility of the LEVA platform, the company has positioned itself to offer a wide range of vehicles with a wide range of prices as well. 
Because of this, it’s tough to say how much the brand’s EVs will cost at the dealership. And by the time these
new models
reach consumers, other costs like car insurance could change dramatically, too. 
But no matter what happens in the industry, the best place for finding
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