Gram Lights

This electric Lotus Elise from Nyobolt has been reimagined for the modern ‘electrified’ era. And one of the team members is the Lotus Elise’s original designer. So that’s pretty neat. Other than that though, details are pretty vague & fantastical honestly. The main bragging point is: The car allegedly only takes 6-minutes to charge while claiming 155 miles of range. There’s a lot of grey area there. And it’s not like the car’s coming to production on any sort of scale. It’s more likely a Nyobolt science & marketing project than anything else. But what’s interesting & relevant here, is the team’s approach to electrification. Because…

Nyobolt Electric Lotus Elise

If we’re going EV, we’ve got to start thinking small. 

S3 has brought this up many times. Small does not have to be dorky & chintzy. Small can be sporty, engaging, & refreshing (like this Nyobolt Lotus for example). But America is not easily sold on smalls cars. They don’t even wanna hear it… so therein lies the challenge.

Nyobolt Electric Lotus Elise

But the truth is:

This idea that 7,000-9,000lb full-size electric SUVs are anything close to any shade of ‘green’… is a lie. It fails the assignment entirely… and expensively (and also devastatingly, if you live where the mines are). But consumers believe the lie, because they want to. They’re content to be misinformed, so long as the lie is fashionable. And in these times, if enough idiots start saying the same thing & agree with each other, then it becomes truth apparently. And the actual truth becomes… deplorable, shadow banned, or mocked. 

Datsun 510

But in the wake of these truth delusions…

We’re really fucking up the automotive industry (multiple industries actually), while simultaneously not helping the planet. And it will soon trickle down to fuck up your vehicle costs & freedom to travel as well.

Porsche 914

Just like Quaker Oats, a smart & balanced approach to EVs… 

Would be to design small cars with less extravagant range, as exemplified by this Nyobolt. A smaller car is lighter. Therefore it takes less battery to power it. Just like it takes less effort to push an empty shopping cart versus a full one. And if we can accept less range, then it requires even less battery still. And batteries are heavy. For example, the batteries alone in the Hummer EV weigh 2,800lbs. My entire Honda CRX weighs under 2,000lbs. 

BMW 2002

So if we, as the 1st-generation of EV adopters…

Could wrap our heads around the idea of a small EV that we use for daily errands & commuting, then it wouldn’t need a lot of range, because the daily route would be mostly local & predictable. That means it wouldn’t need as much battery. If you can shave-off battery, then you’re shaving-off weight, and you’re shaving-off cost. Get the cost down, and smaller EVs start to really make sense. The monthly note on a small EV begins to pay for itself when you offset fuel savings on a gas-thirsty truck/SUV. 

Honda Today

The strategy would be…

Hop in the EV on the weekdays to save fuel & arguably the planet (keyword: arguably). In an ideal scenario, the amount of money you save on fuel will more-or-less cover the cost of the EV. And then you keep a larger internal combustion vehicle around for when those type of needs or moods arise – like family trips, road trips, towing, hauling, etc. But why take a 5,000lb vehicle (EV or ICE) to go get frickin eggs & butter? By the way, I have no idea where all these grocery store references are coming from.

Miata

And if the auto industry could find ways to make the small cars FUN again…

Well then you’re really onto something! Driving a small EV doesn’t have to be like driving a tampon. I don’t know when we got so far off track. But start here: Just because a car is electric, does not mean it needs 20-inches of screen in front of your face with little zen chimes. That shit’s dumb. Get the techy distractions out, put some damn knobs back in the thing, and get the government to relax their regulations. They can focus more on running the country & less on running our lives. Tire pressure monitors should NOT be a requirement in new cars. It’s a luxury, not a necessity. Let the consumer decide if it’s worth the expense. Same with backup cameras, lane keep assist, blind spot monitors, 32-way adjustable seats that weigh 100lbs, and all that shit. If you can’t drive without that stuff, you don’t need to be driving period. It’s not protecting us; it’s making us dependent. Get the nonsense out of the cars. 

Celica

In an EV, air conditioning comes at a cost to your range…

Therefore in an EV, it’d be wise to use the AC only as needed. So let’s supplement that energy-sucking AC with more natural solutions – like targa tops, t-tops, convertibles, etc. Bring STYLE back to cars. 

lowered Mini Cooper S

Hell – get rid of the electric windows…

If the car is appropriately sized, there’s no reason why you can’t take your flabby Walmart arm, reach over to the other side of the car, and roll down the damn window. Our ancestors did it & survived just fine. I bet you can open your own hatch too if you tried. That gets rid of electronic window/hatch motors, it gets rid of cost, and it gets rid of weight. Which again, saving weight makes the most out of an EV’s power & range. See – we’ve gotta start embracing a different thought process. I know America is tech-addicted & pampered. But we’re not gonna ‘reverse climate change’ without giving up some conveniences. Yeah, that’s the fantasy they sold you… but that’s not how it actually works. 

Factory Five

Lastly – it intrigues me that Nyobolt reclaimed/reimagined an old Lotus Elise for this project.

They’re not the first to do it. Tesla’s original Roadster was based off a Lotus Elise back in 2008ish. And it makes sense – the Lotus Elise is a super lightweight sports car. And Lotus as a brand always strives to achieve performance through lightweight designs. A platform like the Elise is mid-engine. And that justifies the use of only one electric motor (no real need for dual motor AWD), which gets the cost & weight down without sacrificing fun driving dynamics. I dig the recipe.

Fiesta ST

And that got me thinking…

Reimagining older cars? Hmm, what if auto manufacturers started looking back a little bit more, to find the best solution forward? There were a lot of great, simplistic, engaging, tactile, small driver’s cars made in the ’90s. Why don’t some current auto manufacturers go back in their archives a little bit & pull out smaller, lighter successful, sporty vehicles from their past. Give them updates & improvements where necessary and/or appropriate without bloating them out of proportions. And then restructure them for an electric battery & powertrain. We need the MR2s, the 2002s, the Trackers, the CRXs, the Datsuns, and the Miatas of the EV movement. And we need them to be sub-30k. Find a way to make it make sense. 

•stay groovy & get the free S3 Magazine app•  (apple)

•stay groovy & get the free S3 Magazine app•  (android)