The EV business leaning into British sports-car heritage is poised to go public with product momentum in its favor.
(Bloomberg) — The next electric-vehicle maker poised to merge with a blank-check company will go public with some product momentum working in its favor.
Lotus, the British sports-car maker owned by China’s Geely, on Thursday unveiled the Emeya sedan, the first of three models it promised to show in three years after agreeing to combine with a special purpose acquisition company. In the investor presentation issued off the back of that deal, Lotus compared the Emeya to the Porsche Panamera.
The Emeya will accelerate from zero to 62 miles (100 kilometers) per hour in under 2.8 seconds, roughly in line with Porsche’s electric Taycan Turbo S. Its battery can be replenished with 93 miles of range in about five minutes, and the car can get to an 80% charge within 15 minutes.
Lotus will list with much more of a track record than Vietnam’s VinFast, the latest EV company to go public via SPAC. The Lotus brand dates back 75 years, and its cars have won Formula One championships and featured in James Bond films. Geely acquired a majority stake in 2017 and is looking to take its third auto company public in as many years. It staged an initial public offering of Volvo Car in 2021 and merged EV maker Polestar with a SPAC last year.
“There are lots of brands going into electrification, but they have no history, no heritage, no brand,” said Mike Johnstone, a former Volvo executive tapped to lead Lotus’s global commercial operations early this year. “They’ve got brilliant products, great technology, but still a product really living on the basis of price and specification.”
The Emeya will be the flagship model in Lotus’s lineup of lifestyle EVs. Production will start early next year at the Wuhan, China, factory that has the capacity to support Lotus’s goal to sell 150,000 vehicles annually from 2028 — 30 times more than what the brand has ever mustered in a year.
Lotus expects to surpass its previous peak annual deliveries of just under 5,000 vehicles by next month, driven by demand for the Eletre electric SUV the company has been selling in China since late March. Deliveries to customers in the UK and Europe are imminent.
The Emeya will be priced similarly to the Eletre, which sells for around $100,000 and up. The two will be Lotus’s main sources of volume until the arrival of a smaller electric SUV slated for an unveiling next year.
Lotus expects to complete its merger with blank-check firm L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp. before the end of this year.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.