Lotus Eco Elise Concept with Hemp Body Panels!

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Lotus will unveil an environmentally-friendly version of its sporty roadster called Eco Elise at the British Motor Show that opens its doors on July 22. Unlike most eco-friendly propositions of our time, the Eco Elise study doesn’t revolve solely around tailpipe CO2 emissions. Instead, the Brits tried a holistic approach to ecology by using sustainable materials, cleaner manufacturing processes, renewable energy generation and of course, by reducing the car’s weight.

The renewable materials that have been incorporated into the Eco Elis project include hemp (industrial cannabis) that’s used on the car’s composite body panels, spoiler and seats, eco wool for the upholstery and sisal for the carpet. Cleaner manufacturing processes have been achieved by utilizing the latest water based paint technology. As for renewable energy generation, the Eco Elise’s hemp hard top incorporates a set of solar panels that provide power for the car’s electrical systems. -Continued

"Performance through light weight" is synonymous with Lotus, so a reduction in mass was a priority for the company’s engineers. The weight reduction philosophy has even extended to the audio system with a lightweight stereo and speaker system from Alpine that saves an impressive 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs). The Eco Elise also uses special lightweight wheels that reduce the unsprung mass and contribute a weight saving of approximately 15.8 kg (34.8 lbs) over the already light Elise wheels.

Overall, the weight saving programme for the Eco Elise has resulted in a total saving of around 32 kg (70.5 lbs) over the feather light Elise S, which consequently reduces the fuel required to drive the car.