Caterham Cars has confirmed that the development of its first all-electric sports car has begun and the launch is expected in 2023.
The news was revealed by Caterham Cars CEO, Graham McDonald, who also said the vehicle will likely be bigger and heavier than its ICE counterparts.
McDonald also confirmed that the new ‘EV Seven’ will be developed with a focus on keeping weight down and stressed the importance that the car “rides and handles like a Caterham.”
The ‘EV Seven’ has been scheduled for a 2023 release which would coincide with Caterham’s 50th anniversary.
The development of the new model will be supported by Caterham’s parent company, VT Holdings, which took over ownership back in April this year. McDonald said that Kazuho Takahashi, CEO of VT Holdings, is determined for the Caterham brand to live on.
“He loves the brand and he knows that we haven’t got endless money pits,” said Macdonald. “However, he’s determined to see this brand continue for another 50 years.”
Further details on the vehicle are few and far between at the moment, however, McDonald confirmed that he has driven a prototype version of the electric Seven already.
He said: “It’s very much like a go-kart: it’s two-pedal, you’ve got rapid acceleration and it’s a different product to drive. No less exciting, but exciting in a different way.”
McDonald added that Caterham is currently looking to form partnerships with another manufacturer for the supply of batteries and motors.
He added: “I think we would enter into some sort of partnership whereby we can purchase batteries and get them made to fit our dimensions, rather than buy a square skateboard that has a body-in-white on top. That loses the Caterham.”
Speaking on the future of the Caterham brand, McDonald said that whilst the company is making its first outing into the EV market, it will also continue to produce ICE vehicles.
He said: “My ambition is to keep combustion engines going as long as we possibly can, as long as we can find an engine that fits our product but that’s becoming harder now. Everybody is going smaller and fitting turbochargers, and that’s not what we want.”