Skip advert
Advertisement

Caterham electric-car plans hinge on cheaper 'off-the-shelf' drivetrains

British sports-car maker says it needs more affordable 'off-the-shelf' components if it's to consider building an electric model

Caterham

British lightweight sports-car manufacturer Caterham says it will only consider building an electric model when the price of 'off-the-shelf' battery and motor components comes down.

Speaking to our sister title Auto Express' podcast, the firm's CEO Graham MacDonald said the cost of developing a bespoke electric drivetrain is too high for a company of Caterham's size, and that electric motors' driving characteristics don't suit its most renowned model, the Seven roadster (above). He explained: "Currently, we think an all-electric powertrain would add more than 300kg to what is, already, about a 500kg car."

Advertisement - Article continues below

However, MacDonald went on to state that his engineers are actively monitoring developments in the industry and did not rule out Caterham launching an electric model in the future.

"We recognise that the future is electrification but, as you know, we use main-brand engines. So we’ve used the Suzuki engine, we use the Ford engines just now – so we wouldn’t be naïve enough to think we could develop our own EV powertrain; we’d be looking to use an off-the-shelf package," he said.

MacDonald added: “I'm sure, as time goes on, that all these major manufacturers and major battery manufacturers are all working to get more lightweight, longer range, cheaper batteries and more efficient motors... when that comes down to a point where Caterham can talk to, say, Ford or Nissan and say 'can we buy your powertrain and put it in a Caterham?' we’ll be there knocking on their doors."

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

New Caterham Project V has the electric Porsche 718 Cayman in its sights
Caterham Project V - header
News

New Caterham Project V has the electric Porsche 718 Cayman in its sights

11 Jul 2023
Caterham EV Seven is the track day car of the future
Caterham EV Seven - rear
News

Caterham EV Seven is the track day car of the future

23 May 2023

Most Popular

Cupra Born is now £6,000 cheaper than a Tesla Model 3 and comes with a free charger
Cupra Born price cut
News

Cupra Born is now £6,000 cheaper than a Tesla Model 3 and comes with a free charger

A range-wide price cut for Cupra’s first EV brings a slimline range structure, as well as some tempting bonuses
27 Feb 2024
“Cut VAT to bring down prices of electric cars” SMMT urges Jeremy Hunt
Chancellor budget
News

“Cut VAT to bring down prices of electric cars” SMMT urges Jeremy Hunt

A proposed tax cut for EVs could bring down prices by an average of £4,000
1 Mar 2024
Be part of the EV public charging revolution with Octopus Electroverse
Octopus Electroverse card
Advertisement Feature

Be part of the EV public charging revolution with Octopus Electroverse

For EV public charging that's simple and straightforward, join the pioneering Octopus Electroverse for free now
1 Mar 2024