Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Centrica integrates Lotus EVs into smart grid

Steve Rogerson
May 19, 2020



UK energy supplier Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, is working with car maker Lotus to develop a model for electric vehicle ownership that integrates future mobility and energy.
 
By making the car an extension of the home, capable of storing electricity, reducing emissions and generating income by providing services to the energy market, the companies aim to redefine the customer relationship with cars to one controlled by smart devices at home and on the move.
 
“Owning an electric vehicle isn’t the same as owning an internal combustion engine car,” said Carl Bayliss, vice president of Centrica Innovations. “We see a future where the customer, car and home are connected, enabling new services beyond charging the car, and new products and experiences replacing the unremarkable standard relationship with energy and the ownership of a car today. Lotus is the perfect partner as we embark on this, given the recognition and appeal of the brand globally and the fact that it is right at the beginning of its electrification journey.”
 
The energy company will also facilitate a sustainability programme that leverages low carbon technologies, and helps mitigate the environmental impact of everything from manufacturing through to sales and the day-to-day activities of Lotus employees, helping meet Lotus’ carbon reduction aspirations.
 
The partnership will help establish a global charging and energy infrastructure as part of Lotus’ journey to net-zero carbon following huge investment into the business since 2018.
 
“We are committed to helping our customers and communities achieve net-zero and, to do so, we must enable the change to electric vehicles,” said Centrica CEO Chris O’Shea. “We have the technology, the skills and the scale to do this and our partnership with Lotus is another step in bringing our commitment to life.”
 
Lotus Cars CEO Phil Popham added: “Our journey to net-zero carbon is absolutely lock-in-step with the Vision 80 strategy for Lotus – taking us to eighty years of the business in 2028. By then, we will have transformed Lotus into a truly global player in the high-performance high-technology sector with a new range of cars that remain true to our fundamental promise of always being for the drivers. The difference is the energy and infrastructure that will power and support these products in the future. This new partnership demonstrates the progress being made and the ambition of our vision.”
 
Production of the all-electric Lotus Evija hypercar will start at the company’s Hethel, Norfolk, headquarters later in 2020, marking the start of Lotus’ journey to electrifying its growing range of vehicles. The partnership sees the two companies embark on a multi-work-stream strategy together, covering:

  • A dedicated Lotus EV energy strategy;
  • Charging infrastructure serving Lotus’ global network and customers;
  • De-carbonisation strategy for Lotus operations globally; and
  • A breakthrough energy product and platform integrating connected vehicles, homes and customers to support the growth in digital mobility lifestyle.
“Centrica brings a wealth of energy sector expertise to the table that will not only help us to determine the right course for our mobility strategy, but the hands-on capability to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place globally,” said Uday Senapati, executive director for Lotus. “The future of mobility is a huge opportunity for providing value-added services to the consumer and this platform will put Lotus at the forefront of that digital mobility ecosystem. We have set ambitious targets for decarbonising both our vehicles and our operations. Given the rate of change required and the importance of getting it right first time, the support of our strategic partner Centrica is going to be vital.”