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Brunel joins forces with Lotus to drive forward next-generation electric vehicle architecture

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A collaborative partnership between Brunel University London and renowned car makers Lotus to develop next-generation electric vehicle (EV) architecture has won backing from the UK Government.

The LEVA project – Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture – will aim to accelerate innovation in the development of lightweight structures for EVs, acting as a showcase for new, cutting-edge chassis and powertrain concepts.

The consortium, which also includes Sarginsons Industries, will seek to harness the ‘light-weighting’ potential of an aluminium alloy developed and patented at the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST) for use in future advanced automotive architecture.

“The alloy won a national innovation award in 2017 because of its high strength and ductility,” said Prof Shouxun Ji, a professor in materials at BCAST.

“I hope we can now use it to help UK industry realise their goals in advancing automotive manufacturing technology.”

Funding for the project will come as part of the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s (APC) Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator competition, which was delivered on behalf of the APC by Cenex, the UK’s Low Carbon and Fuel Cells Centre of Excellence.

Matt Windle, Executive Director of Engineering at Lotus, said: “As a collaboration between Lotus, Sarginsons Industries and Brunel University London there is a wealth of talent involved, and we are excited to have already begun the project work.

“Following the launch of the Lotus Evija, our all-electric 2,000 PS hypercar, this project is a key building block in our vision to deliver a full range of electrified Lotus performance cars ‘For The Drivers’. Funding of this nature is critical to stimulate the automotive industry and supply chain as both continue to adjust to a rapidly changing landscape.”

For further information on BCAST, please visit: brunel.ac.uk/research/Institutes/Institute-of-Materials-and-Manufacturing/Liquid-Metal-Engineering/BCAST

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