Lotus reportedly working on EV technology

Electric cars are looking more and more like the future of four-wheel motoring, with seemingly every automaker working on electric vehicle technology. Lotus has yet to produce an electric vehicle itself, but companies like Tesla and Chrysler have proven that Lotus platforms are ideal for electric vehicles. However, the small sports car maker won't be sitting on the sidelines much longer as it is currently developing its own electric vehicle technology.

Lotus CEO Michael Kimberley revealed to the Financial Times that his company is working on EV technology and that the market should "not be surprised to see an electric Lotus shortly". Lotus has already dropped about $88 million to improve the green credentials of its model lineup.

However, unlike the Tesla Roadster and Dodge EV, Lotus' electric car will not be a pure EV. Instead, the new model will take the form of a range extended electric vehicle, much like Chevrolet's upcoming Volt.

Lotus's EV will use a small gasoline engine to recharge the car's onboard battery packs, giving the vehicle a total range between 300 and 400 miles. No pure electric range figures have been released as of yet, but the Volt is expected to travel 40 miles on all-electric power, so it wouldn't be shocking to see a similar number from the Lotus model.

Building a range extended electric vehicle is no easy task, which is why Lotus has partnered with a major automaker for the project. However, Lotus' partner in the deal has yet to be named.

No word on a timeframe for the launch of the new Lotus-badged EV, but we suspect the new EV will hit the market early next decade.