View Full Version : In efforts to go green: Eco Elise

07-15-2008, 02:08 PM
Now this is something I really genuinely like, as far as our Environment Friendly but Still High Performance Cars go-

Patchouli Power! Lotus Goes Green with Eco Elise (http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/07/lotus-eco-elise.html)

The engineering superheroes at Lotus have churned out yet another iteration of the street-legal go-cart we call Elise. Aptly named “Eco Elise,” the concept based on the Elise S will hit 60 mph in less than 5.8 seconds yet treads lightly thanks to its use of sustainable materials and across-the-board cuts in the energy needed to build it.
The Elise S is already mighty efficient considering the grins it can produce -- 34 mpg (combined), 196 g/km CO2 emissions and a dry weight of 1,896 pounds. New to the party are renewable materials like hemp, eco-wool and sisal in some body panels and interior trim. Water-based paints reduce pollution during the painting process. Lotus rolls out the concept vehicle next week at the 2008 British Motor Show (http://www.britishmotorshow.co.uk/).
Considering current gas prices (http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/), Lotus founder Colin Chapman (http://www.ddavid.com/formula1/chap_bio.htm) may have been looking into a crystal ball when he founded a sports car company shouting “performance through light weight” from the rooftops. Ditching unneeded heft is a sure way to up the performance ante and reduce complexity, but it also improves fuel economy.
The boys in Hethel have remained faithful to their captain with the Eco Elise.
The car is 70.5 pounds lighter than the bantamweight Elise S. Even the Alpine stereo system is 3.3 pounds lighter. The composite body panels and spoiler are made from hemp, beloved by Phishheads (http://www.phish.net/) and rope manufacturers alike for its strength. The seats are also made from hemp. Solar panels have been set into the hard top as an additional source power for the electrical systems. It's a cool touch.
Lotus and DuPont teamed up to develop a water-based paint system for primer, color and lacquer. Lotus says it's the first time it's been possible to hand-spray a water-based “A class" production paint finish. It takes less energy thanks to the paint's low-cure temperature and cuts solvent emissions to boot. Lotus says this technology is expected in production cars sometime soon.
"This Eco Elise is a great example of the advanced and affordable green technologies Lotus is developing," says Mike Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus. "We are at the cutting-edge of environmental technology and are determined to push forward with our green agenda. The Lotus brand values of lightweight, fuel efficient, and high performance are more relevant today than they ever have been. We are keen to ensure that Lotus as a company and its products offer an ethical, green option that appeals to our customers".
Photos by Lotus.


07-15-2008, 02:09 PM
seats dont look too comfy...

07-15-2008, 02:19 PM
IDK i'd disagree, it's a bucket style.

07-15-2008, 02:21 PM
Would be cool if I fit in it.

07-15-2008, 02:22 PM
gimme one now!

07-15-2008, 02:32 PM
I like the exterior but the interior kinda reminds me of a rich old person's car and I agree with DF, the seats don't look very comfortable. If I could swap the interior for leather (I know, kinda defeats purpose) and more cushion on the seats I would totally buy it.

07-15-2008, 02:49 PM
i wonder what would be more light weight, the wooden ones, or sparco racing seats?

07-15-2008, 09:13 PM
Sparco seats are junk for the most part. The seats in the Elise aren't made for comfort. They are made to hold you in. If you've seen the stock seats, they are pretty much the same as the ones in the Eco one. The car isn't designed to be driving everyday, its designed to be driven hard on weekends or at the track.

07-16-2008, 06:10 AM
looks pretty sweet

07-16-2008, 06:55 AM
It's still going to have troubles with gas prices, even at 30mpg. I have to say, I'm more tired of people whining about gas prices than the prices themselves, just make a new damn car so every commercial doesn't have "tired of gas prices" or "wow that's worse than gas prices" or some other *****y line. This is just a hippy organic made car, it's not completely eco friendly.

07-16-2008, 07:57 AM
I think the bigger concept of this car is not to cut down on gas usage, but rather to cut down on pollutants all together. It's more of how much it saves in the construction. To an environmentalist, this is far more ideal. Sure, it doesn't get 40MPG, but for any sports car, 30MPG is pretty damn good. One of the more important things about this car is not the car itself (which is damn nice), but the fact that there are companies out there looking to improve manufacturing processes, and make them cleaner. More for the environment then the individual consumer.

On the flipside, there is the Toyota Prius. It is said that it creates more pollution to construct it than an ordinary gas guzzling car would, which, in turn defeats the purpose, in the eyes of an environmentalist. However, with gas prices on the rise, to an everyday consumer who drives a lot, it is godsend.

07-16-2008, 08:23 AM
The prius does, however make up for its inefficient manufacturing process (which is mainly due to its very carbon-intensive battery making process) after 50k miles.

I think it'd be interesting to check the carbon cost of switching to this eco friendly setup. Surely some machines got swapped, maybe a new facility, or at least a revamp of the facilities. I'm not sure it would be significant in the big scope of things, but it would certainly make it interesting to see.

Nuclear > * at the moment.