Caterham Seven EV prototypes to debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed; 38 kWh battery, 326 PS and 701 kg – paultan.org
British lightweight sports car specialist Caterham will be bringing a pair of fully electric prototypes to the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, Autocar has reported.
The Seven-based EV project will be Caterhams’s first “dip in the water” into the world of electric vehicles, and the firm will be “relying heavily on working with partners,” said Caterham CEO Bob Laishley.
“This is not something we are selling tomorrow. We’ll do it at the right time, which is when we can make a business case for it,” Laishley said. While there are some customer enquiries, “we haven’t got a queue of people”, the carmaker’s CEO noted.
These EV prototypes will be based on the wide-body version of the latest-generation Seven chassis, where the regular internal combustion engine and gearbox will be switched out for a 50 kWh (38 kWh usable) battery pack. At the rear, a 326 PS electric motor will reside in the luggage compartment of the Seven, and will incorporate the car’s de Dion rear suspension layout, reports Autocar.
Electric powertrain development for the EV Caterham Seven prototypes is handled by British Touring Car Championship engine builder Swindon Powertrain, who says that the battery pack holds the bulk of development involved and heat management is a key challenge. The aim is for the EV Seven to have a 150 kW battery charge rate, says Swindon Powertrain.
The battery pack destined for the prototypes is “a slight evolution” of what the powertrain firm currently has available, according to Swindon Powertrain MD Raphael Caille, while Caterham has presented an aggressive target weight to be met.
At present, the EV Seven prototype weighs 701 kg, compared to the petrol-powered Seven 485 which weighs 626 kg, which would be equivalent to the Seven 485 carrying a passenger, said CEO Laishley. The prototype EV will not have its own onboard charger.
“We think a future Caterham Seven has to be able to deliver. We’re keeping this simple and matching the performance of something that already exists. We’re trying to be true to the production car,” Laishley continued, though the EV project isn’t something that will likely result in a product that will go on sale, the CEO said.
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