Looks like the Lotus Evija hypercar has hit another roadblock.
When it debuted last year, the Lotus Evija generated a lot of publicity thanks to its mind-blowing performance. This is the Lotus halo car we've been waiting for. However, the electric hypercar has suffered a few setbacks. Delays in testing caused by the pandemic recently forced Lotus to delay customer deliveries until mid-2021. Now, Autocar reports that Lotus has terminated its technical partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering.
Originally, Williams was contracted to develop the 70-kWh battery pack that will provide the juice for the 2,000-hp hypercar, but Lotus will now be developing the battery pack in-house.
"Williams Advanced Engineering has been a technical partner, bringing specific high voltage and battery development expertise to the Evija hypercar project," Lotus said in a statement.
"As the program entered its latter stages pre the Covid lockdown, Lotus elected to bring the project in house due to delivery problems from Williams Advanced Engineering. Lotus will complete and enhance the program in house as referred to in previous statements about our new Advanced Technical Center in Warwickshire and the revised Evija production timetable. The end result will be a better product as we introduce not only the most powerful production car in the world, but also the world's best electric car for the drivers."
Williams, on the other hand, tells a different story, suggesting the termination was far from amicable. The company claims Lotus' decision was "wrongful and without any legal basis, made for Lotus/Geely's unrelated commercial reasons" and that allegations from Lotus that it breached the terms of the agreement are "false and contrived."
Due to this wrongful termination, Williams is taking legal action against Lotus and is seeking compensation for invoices that have allegedly been unpaid since April 2020. To make matters worse, Williams fears the decision puts a number of UK jobs at risk and could delay the launch of the Evija even further.
The engineering firm says it "continued to perform outstanding work and progress the project despite the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic," and that development of the hypercar is "now in its latter stages." "WAE wishes to make clear that this issue has no impact on its existing projects, customers and partners," Williams added.