Eco Elise, 2008
Lotus unveiled an environmentally-friendly Eco Elise at the British Motor Show. The Eco Elise doesn’t revolve solely around CO2 emissions, but extends to a holistic approach to ecology by using sustainable materials, cleaner manufacturing processes, renewable energy generation and of course, by reducing the car’s weight.
The renewable materials that have been incorporated into the Eco Elis project include hemp (industrial cannabis) that’s used on the car’s composite body panels, spoiler and seats, eco wool for the upholstery and sisal for the carpet. Cleaner manufacturing processes have been achieved by utilizing the latest water based paint technology. As for renewable energy generation, the Eco Elise’s hemp hard top incorporates a set of solar panels that provide power for the car’s electrical systems.
The weight reduction philosophy has even extended to the audio system with a lightweight stereo and speaker system from Alpine that saves an impressive 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs). The Eco Elise also uses special lightweight wheels that reduce the unsprung mass and contribute a weight saving of approximately 15.8 kg (34.8 lbs) over the already light Elise wheels.
Overall, the weight saving programme for the Eco Elise has resulted in a total saving of around 32 kg (70.5 lbs) over the standard Elise S.
For the press release, see here