Woah, Nyobolt’s Elise-based EV charges in six minutes | Top Gear
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Woah, Nyobolt’s Elise-based EV charges in six minutes

Julian Thomson takes a stab at a sporty EV with ultra-fast charging tech

Published: 13 Jun 2023

Behold, the Nyobolt EV. If you’re thinking it looks suspiciously like a Lotus Elise, you’d be right. Original Elise designer Julian Thomson has had his iconic car design mitts all over this project. It’s intended to showcase Nyobolt’s advanced battery tech, charging the battery in only six minutes.

The new electric concept car features a 35kWh battery and has a claimed range of 250km (155 miles). Engineers have tested the charging and discharging cycles over 2,000 times without any significant losses.

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And since looking at pictures of batteries and men in lab jackets and gloves isn’t especially electrifying, Nyobolt commissioned Thomson to sketch out this little beauty, then engineering firm Callum made it happen.

Apparently, Thomson’s been itching to modernise the Elise since its conception in 1994, though the Nyobolt EV isn’t a total replica. It features carbon fibre bodywork, sits on 19” wheels and is 100mm wider and 150mm longer than the original Elise. It does, however, have the removable roof panel for some open top action.

Cameras have been discretely integrated and the Type 2 charging port sits covertly in the B-pillar. Aleck Jones, creative lead at Callum, said: “The aim was to evolve the design and bring it up to date while keeping that iconic sports car character that was so well received in the Elise.

“Typically, you run into feasibility issues with initial sketches and a design loses impact as it moves from concept into reality, but incredibly – and thanks to the close working relationship between Callum's design and engineering teams – we have been able to realise our early images and unique vision in the real world.

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“Nyobolt’s technology allows this car to tick all the boxes that made the original Elise such a desirable drivers’ car with a cult following, but it’s electric. These two things don’t usually come hand-in-hand due to weight and battery packaging constraints.”

This isn’t the first time a Lotus has been used as a demonstrator whip for EV purposes, obviously. Elon Musk famously launched Tesla Motors using one. Musk, however, later said that despite it being lightweight, it was a poor choice for the Roadster, as the battery equipment couldn’t be easily integrated into the car.

The battery tech is due to go into production next year, though it’s yet to be seen if the car will follow suit.

Sai Shivareddy, CEO at Nyobolt, said: “Unlocking the challenges faced by electric vehicle designers has been key to the development of our breakthrough fast-charging batteries. Previously, enabling a light weight fast-charging vehicle was not possible without compromising its lifetime and so people have been relying on costly and large battery packs in the vehicle. With our unique technology we have achieved a six-minute charge car, and developed smaller battery packs that can deliver more power and charge in less time.

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“Our partnership with Callum shows how adoption of system-level technology innovations can transform the future of electric vehicles and increase accessibility of EVs, including to the 40 per cent of UK households who can’t charge their vehicle at home overnight.”

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