The Eco Elise is a prime example of using Clean Tech composite materials. Located in East Anglia, Lotus Cars applies a holistic approach to going â€˜greenâ€™.
As well as reducing carbon emissions, Lotus also recognise the importance of using sustainable materials, cleaner manufacturing processes, and renewable energy sources for the development of Clean Tech products. Using a combination of hemp, eco-wool, sisal and water based paint solutions, they have produced a high-performing, low-weight product and are striving to become â€œthe worldâ€™s green automotive consultancy.â€
Hemp has material properties which allow it to be used in making very strong fibre, historically for producing rope. It is used as the primary component of the body panels and spoiler of the Eco Elise.
Cleaner Manufacturing Process
The Lotus Paint Facility and Du Pont low-volume water based painting system allows Lotus to hand spray a class â€˜Aâ€™ production paint finish onto the Eco Elise. This system reduces the energy consumption of the manufacturing process thanks to the paintâ€™s low cure temperature requirement. It also provides another environmental benefit, by reducing the emissions of solvents, providing cost savings for Lotus, and making the manufacturing process more environmentally friendly. It is thought that the technology will be used in production cars in the near future.
The Eco Elise has two solar panels fitted into the hemp hard top which provide energy for the electrical systems. The application of embedding these panels into the hemp shows the ability to install panels in a composite â€œAâ€ class panel with a double curvature. This technology could be used to power a larger vehicle, if more solar panels were installed.
Reduce Carbon Miles
The hemp is locally sourced from East Anglia, making sure transport costs and carbon miles are kept to a minimum.
The weight reduction achieved by using the lighter, renewable materials improve the handling and brake efficiency of the Eco Elise. The combination of renewable materials, lightweight tyres and other components of the car, meaning it requires less fuel to run.
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