Finally caught this one in Autocar: the Lotus Eco Elise. It’s not a concept car for the public, but rather an engineering sales brochure. Right now, Lotus is working on a few electric vehicles (Tesla only one of them). It seems like they are intent on becoming the engineering shop you go to for environmentally friendly engineering.
To begin with, the Eco Elise uses a host of sustainable materials to make up the body and trim, including hemp, “eco wool,” sisal and a new high-tech, water-based paint that can be applied by hand, while still maintaining the grade-A finish you’d expect. All of these elements reduce the Eco Elise’s footprint throughout its lifecycle, limit the amount of energy used during production and simultaneously slashes 70 pounds from the standard Elise’s curb weight.
But Lotus hasn’t stopped there. It’s fitted a set of flexible solar panels on the hard top to help power the electrical systems, reducing the drain on the engine and improving efficiency. And there’s a new green shift light on the instrument panel that assists drivers in maximizing fuel efficiency.