Published on September 1st, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Lotus Reveals NEW 150,000 Capacity A Year Factory In Wuhan
This new factory in China confirms Lotus mass market plans.
Lotus, an iconic British sports car brand, will establish its first plant outside the United Kingdom. It will be in Wuhan and produce Electric Vehicle’s (EV) only. News of this new Lotus production plant was rumoured sometime in January 2019 at a cost of USD1.3 Billion.
Now there is confirmation of this new plant and will have an annual capacity of 150,000 cars. At this week’s online press conference, Lotus also announced a plan to launch four new electric models in the next five years.
The business is named Lotus Technology and they also shared its partnership with EV start-up Nio, which invested an undisclosed amount through its investment arm Nio Capital. Nio has been ranked very high in China for its EV’s and the J.D. Power Study.
PRESS RELEASE: Lotus Technology is a new division of Group Lotus, a global ‘intelligent technology’ subsidiary which augments the brand’s DNA and technology accumulated over the 73 years that Lotus has existed. Its role is to accelerate innovation in the fields of batteries and energy management, electric motors, electronic control systems, intelligent driving, intelligent manufacturing and more.
The new Lotus Technology headquarters will be completed in 2024. An all-new Lotus factory, to manufacture Lotus electric vehicles for global markets, will open later this year. The recently launched Lotus Emira is the final petrol powered Lotus for sale.
Eric Li, Chairman of Geely Holding Group, and Feng Qingfeng, CEO of Group Lotus, attended the event. They were joined by Li Bin, founder of NIO, who is an investor in Lotus Technology. They revealed top level details of the Lotus product plan for the next five years, developed jointly by Lotus Technology and the highly experienced Lotus team in the UK.
In 2022, Lotus will debut an E-segment SUV codenamed Type 132. It will be followed in 2023 by an E-segment four-door coupe, Type 133, and in 2025 by Type 134, a new D-segment SUV. This trio will be joined in 2026 by an all-new electric sports car, Type 135.
The new models are in addition to the Evija all-electric hypercar and the Emira, the last petrol-powered sports car from Lotus, which will both be built at Hethel, UK.
In the field of intelligent drive, Lotus unveiled the concept of ‘track-level intelligent drive’ as a 10-year technological development target. The new technology’s aim is to assist drivers to perform as well as an F1 driver on track, while increasing driver safety and improving performance on the road through advanced software and hardware. The result is a more rewarding and reassuring experience in any environment.
The development of the brand’s new premium lifestyle vehicles will take place on the Lotus Premium architecture, one of the four new vehicle platforms announced at the Driving Tomorrow global strategy conference in April.
The Premium architecture supports a wheelbase range from 2,889mm-3,100mm and could be further expanded in the future. It supports the development of all types of passenger vehicles from C+ to E segments. Using 92-120kWh batteries, it is compatible with the industry’s most advanced 800-volt high-speed EV charging system. Products developed on this platform will be capable of 0-100km/h acceleration in under three seconds.
Vision80 is the ongoing strategic plan which outlines the transformation of Lotus ahead of its 80th birthday in 2028. The establishment of Lotus Technology marks a crucial step on that journey of global expansion, and on the road to an intelligent and electric future.
The new Lotus manufacturing plant in Wuhan will open later this year, complementing existing UK sports car manufacturing and performance facilities in Hethel and Norwich. It is being built with the world’s most advanced manufacturing technologies to become a global centre of excellence for Lotus’ premium lifestyle models. Covering an area of over 1 million m2 with an investment of over 8 billion RMB (£900m), the plant has the capacity to ramp up to production of 150,000 vehicles a year.
The new Lotus plant is the first in the world with an integrated intelligent test track. It features an advanced system whereby vehicles can be transported into workshops using autonomous driving technology without any human intervention. It is designed to accommodate vehicles driving at speeds up to 140mph (230km/h) through 16 corners.