- The Lotus Evija, a 'light' EV

Electric Dreams: Will EVs ever lose their heft?

Electric cars are known for being heavy, but will it always be this way?

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"Simplify, then add lightness," said the great Colin Chapman when describing the philosophy behind his sublime Lotus Cars, cars known for sensational handling as a result of incredibly low weight.

Low weight. The preserve of any high performance car. Supercar and hypercar manufacturers have gone to great lengths, using exotic materials such as aluminium, carbon fibre and titanium in order to shave off kilograms in pursuit of increased performance and speed. But one of the latest hypercars, the Rimac Nevera, weighs 2,150 kg. 2 tonnes, that's SUV weight, not hypercar weight!

But why? Simply, batteries. Batteries are heavy objects needing complex cooling and coupled with the Nevera's two speed gearbox it makes for a heavy car indeed. In fact, run of the mill EVs such as the BMW i3 and Jaguar I-Pace use technical materials in order to control weight, both having monocoque chassis with the former being made from carbon fibre.

A stripped back I-Pace showing off its aluminium monocoque and battery pack

A stripped back I-Pace showing off its aluminium monocoque and battery pack

Are all EVs going to be heavy forevermore? Probably not. With more power dense batteries, such as the 100kW pack in the Mercedes concept the Vision EQXX which leaves the car with a 1750kg kerb weight, things are getting lighter in the world of EVs. And if the current bastions of lightness such as Caterham and Ariel get their hands on some tiny power dense packs EVs won't always be known for being heavy.

To end this with a real world example I'm going back to where I started this, Lotus. The leaders of lightness. Their new Evija hypercar weighs 1,680 kg, one of the lightest, if not the lightest EV to enter production. So the future is looking good and hopefully full of less porky EVs.

What do you think? Do you think we will ever have light EVs? Comment below.

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Comments (3)

  • Yes and no. For those who want it I can see quite a few sub 1 tonne EVs for people who like EVs for fun. For people who don't and most likely want technology packed SUVs, they will probably stay around the same.

      20 days ago
  • Battery technology will eventually improve which will mean more power can fit into a smaller area

      14 days ago
  • Yes, battery technology keeps getting cheaper and more energy-dense which will reduce weight, along with improvements in the engineering of the battery pack and even the car itself with structural batteries. Plus the engineers have lots of flexibility with weight distribution and electronics like torque vectoring to improve handling and driving fun. Looking forward to seeing what the likes of Lotus, Tesla, Porsche, Rimac etc come out with over the next few years in EV sports cars

      21 days ago
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