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Lotus Building Hydrogen Fuel Cell Taxi & Hybrid Jaguar Limo

Posted on July 16, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

LONDON – Lotus, the go-fast gurus who brought us the wonderful Elise and helped Tesla Motors with the Roadster, is developing a hydrogen fuel cell taxi that could be on the road by 2012 and hybrid Jaguar limo.

The company's Lotus Engineering division landed the contracts from Britain's Government Technology Strategy Board, which is investing $45.3 million in 16 low-emission vehicle projects. Lotus has a long racing pedigree and is known for building high-performance cars like the awesome 2-Eleven, but it's no stranger to green vehicles. The Tesla Roadster shares DNA with the Elise and is being built at the Lotus factory in Hethel, England, and Lotus has experimented with flex-fuel vehicles in recent years. Group Lotus chief executive Mike Kimberley says the company's expertise with lightweight vehicles and hybrid and electric drivetrains can provide "guilt-free performance motoring."

“There is a worldwide drive to reduce carbon dioxide emission levels and this is something to which we are dedicated, for both our Lotus cars and our global engineering clients,” he says.

Lotus is one of the big names working on the Zero Emission London Taxi Commercialization Project that aims to have 50-to-100 non-polluting taxis on the road by 2012. Lotus brings to the effort its experience developing hybrids and will integrate the fuel cell with the electric drivetrain and hydrogen storage tank.

The other project, dubbed "Limo Green," sees Lotus working with Jaguar and other firms to develop a hybrid executive saloon (that's British for sedan) that emits less than 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. That's not much more than the 104 g/km the Toyota Prius spits out. There's no word on which model Jag they'll use, but the XJ or XK seem like a logical choice, given their lightweight aluminum body structures. Plans call for an advanced drive motor, small battery pack and a small generator for sustained cruising.

Source: Autopia (Wired blog network)

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