Lotus and Centrica partnership to develop new electric vehicle ownership model
11 May 2020
Author: Simon Harris
British Gas parent company Centrica is working with car manufacturer Lotus to develop a new model for electric vehicle ownership aiming to fully integrate future mobility and energy.
The project aims to redefine the customer relationship with cars - one controlled by smart devices at home and on the move - by making the car an extension of the home, capable of storing electricity, minimising emissions and generating new income by providing services to the energy market.
The energy company plans to facilitate a sustainability program that leverages new, low carbon technologies, and helps mitigate the environmental impact of everything from manufacturing through to sales and the day-to-day activities of Lotus employees, helping meet Lotus' carbon reduction aspirations.
The new partnership will help establish a new global charging and energy infrastructure for new products as part of Lotus's journey to net-zero carbon following investment into the business since 2018.
Centrica Group CEO Chris O'Shea said: "We are committed to helping our customers and communities achieve net-zero and to do so, we must enable the change to electric vehicles. We have the technology, the skills and the scale to do this and our partnership with Lotus is another step in bringing our commitment to life."
Lotus Cars CEO Phil Popham said: "Our journey to net-zero carbon is absolutely lock-in-step with the Vision80 strategy for Lotus - taking us to eighty years of the business in 2028. By then we will have transformed Lotus into a truly global player in the high-performance high-technology sector with a new range of cars that remain true to our fundamental promise of always being 'For The Drivers'. The difference is the energy and infrastructure that will power and support these products in the future - this new partnership demonstrates the progress being made and the ambition of our vision."
Carl Bayliss, vice-president of Centrica Innovations, said: "Owning an electric vehicle isn't the same as owning an internal combustion engine car. We see a future where the customer, car and home are connected, enabling new services beyond charging the car, and new products and experiences replacing the unremarkable standard relationship with energy and the ownership of a car today.
"Lotus is the perfect partner as we embark on this, given the recognition and appeal of the brand globally and the fact that it is right at the beginning of its electrification journey."
Uday Senapati, executive director of corporate strategy for Lotus, added: "Centrica brings a wealth of energy sector expertise to the table that will not only help us to determine the right course for our mobility strategy, but the hands-on capability to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place globally. The future of mobility is a huge opportunity for providing value-added services to the consumer and this platform will put Lotus at the forefront of that digital mobility ecosystem.
"We have set ambitious targets for decarbonising both our vehicles and our operations. Given the rate of change required and the importance of getting it right first time, the support of our strategic partner Centrica is going to be vital."
Production of the electric Lotus Evija hypercar (pictured) will start at the company's Norfolk HQ later in 2020 - marking the start of the company's journey to electrifying its range of vehicles.