Lotus and Williams to battle in the courts, not on track

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Lotus and Williams Advanced Engineering are set for a head-to-head legal fight over the Evija electric hypercar.

The two companies had partnered on high voltage and battery development, but Lotus terminated the agreement citing delivery problems.

A statement from Lotus reads: “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 Centre 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.”

According to Autocar, Williams counters that the decision is “wrongful and without any legal basis” and says it did not breach the terms of the agreement, adding that Williams Advanced Engineering “continued to perform outstanding work and progress the project despite the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Williams Advanced Engineering is now taking legal action against Lotus on the grounds of wrongful termination.

Williams Advanced Engineering was founded in 2010 as a spin-off from the F1 team, but the majority of shares were sold to EMK Capital in December 2019 as part of efforts to save the racing team. Williams F1 itself was recently sold to U.S. private investment company Dorilton capital.

Production of the Lotus Evija has been delayed until 2021.

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