Lotus will reveal an “Eco Elise” technology demonstrator at the British Motor Show in London later this month, according to a report on the GreenCarCongress.com; unlike most eco-friendly concepts, Lotus has chosen to focus “less on tailpipe CO2 and more on materials, manufacturing and design.”
The Eco Elise uses materials like hemp, sisal and wool-based fabrics, and the car weighs 32 kg (about 70 pounds) less than a standard Elise. The weight savings are accomplished in part through a lightweight stereo system components and wheels.
A water-based paint process that reduces solvent emissions will be used on production Lotus models in the “near future,” says the Green Car Congress report.
The hemp hard-top roof incorporates solar panels that generate electricity that would otherwise be generated by the car’s conventional electrical system.
Also, where Lotus cars usually have a shift light that helps drivers extract the maximum performance from the vehicle; the Eco Elise’s shift light instead aims to help drivers save fuel.