The Lotus Eco Elise project promotes a different perspective on "green", one which does not revolve solely around tailpipe CO2.
This holistic approach is in keeping with the progressive Lotus culture, driving Lotus to become the world's green automotive consultancy. Sustainable materials, hemp, eco wool and sisal have been developed for body panels and trim and, combined with hi-tech water based paint solutions, showcase new affordable green technologies.
The new green materials sourced for this car have been carefully studied to ensure that each technology used reduces the environmental impact of the vehicle. The life of the components has been analyzed; during the production stage, in-use and at the end of the vehicle's life. The technology used aims to offer lower emissions of both solvents and CO2 in the lifecycle of the vehicle, with reductions in energy consumed during manufacture.
The Lotus Eco Elise will be displayed in the Greener Driving Pavilion at the 2008 British International Motor Show from 23rd July until 3rd August. The project displays affordable green technology that is intended to be feasible and production viable in the near term future.
The renewable materials have been incorporated into the project, with hemp, eco wool and sisal providing natural, biodegradable engineering materials. Cleaner manufacturing processes have been sought, utilizing the latest water based paint technology. Using this paint system saves energy and reduces emissions of solvents from the paint shop. Solar panels have been set into the hemp hard top to help power the electrical systems and give a means of renewable energy generation.
With the use of locally farmed hemp, the carbon miles to produce the Lotus Eco Elise are reduced, in keeping with the holistic approach to this vehicle.. The Lotus Eco Elise puts an emphasis on efficient driving techniques by using an "economy" gear change display to improve fuel efficiency and promote greener driving.
The car has undergone a weight reduction program to add a little extra lightness, assisting in more economical, greener driving.