Fueling Excellence in Lotus Cars: Maximizing API Management Efficiency with API7 Enterprise
About Lotus Cars
Established in 1948, Lotus Cars Limited is a renowned British automotive company headquartered in England, specializing in producing sports cars and racing cars known for their exceptional lightweight design and superior handling capabilities. Lotus Cars has conquered international markets with remarkable success, whose products are sold in Asia, Europe, and North America. Lotus Cars has a forward-looking approach, embracing the shift towards electrification and sustainability. In 2026, Lotus will finally unveil its ambitious all-electric sports cars.
Lotus Cars strives to uphold a competitive edge persistently in the advancement of intelligence, and electric and new-energy vehicles.
Despite excelling in brand and manufacturing processes, Lotus Cars finds itself significantly disadvantaged by the absence of competitive software technology, highlighting the urgent need for robust partnerships and solutions.
It is a significant undertaking for Lotus Cars to balance integrating smart technologies and adhering to the required safety measures and regulatory requirements.
Lotus Cars accelerated the launch of the API gateway system to the production environment from a projected 2 quarters to a remarkable timeframe of only 1 month.
By adopting API7 Enterprise, Lotus Cars achieved an astounding 90% annual cost reduction in operation and maintenance, including vital tasks like upgrades and bug fixes.
Lotus Cars established its internal API landscape from 0 to 1, providing valuable insights into managing the quality and quantity of APIs and making the market prediction.
In response to the industry's shift towards Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations, Lotus Cars has embarked on a transformation journey. The company's pivot towards producing pure electric vehicles (EVs) aligns with global trends in sustainable transportation.
Lotus Cars is increasingly incorporating advanced technologies for intelligent and connected features within their vehicles. The functionalities like car navigation systems, automotive entertainment, intelligent cockpit, and remote control cars with apps, require seamless communication and integration. This integration necessitates the use of API gateways for effective management and coordination among the various functions and features.
Recognizing the weakness in its software capabilities, the company has adopted a strategy of leveraging external expertise and products to address these shortcomings. The stakeholders, including key leadership teams, are open to adopting external solutions rather than developing in-house capabilities.
As vehicles become more integrated with software systems and networks, maintaining data security and adhering to regulations become paramount. The challenges of Lotus Cars are further compounded by the need to ensure security and compliance in an increasingly connected and digital landscape.
Technology Selection Within Lotus Cars
The infrastructure team of Lotus Cars had been aware of the capabilities of APISIX in using OpenResty's Lua scripting to overcome some of the challenges faced by NGINX. APISIX, an open-source API gateway, utilizes Lua scripting to achieve high performance and low latency, providing an effective solution to the limitations of NGINX. Besides, some technical personnel from Lotus Cars had even attended APISIX meetups, gaining firsthand knowledge about its potential benefits.
After comparing NGINX, Kong, Spring Cloud Gateway, and APISIX, Lotus Cars was considering two options: to directly use APISIX or to develop their own solution based on APISIX. The question was not a trivial one; it involved important considerations about cost, time, and technical expertise.
API7.ai is the company behind APISIX, offering full API lifecycle management solutions. Through discussions with API7.ai, Lotus Cars came to understand that opting for API7 Enterprise could be a more time-effective, cost-efficient, and less demanding solution.
The reason was clear: developing an in-house solution would require hiring an additional development team, not to mention the costs associated with training and communication. On the other hand, by choosing API7 Enterprise, Lotus Cars would not need to invest in additional manpower. Moreover, they would be able to leverage the professional and timely support provided by API7.ai.
Why Lotus Cars Opted for API7 Enterprise
Rich Plugin Ecosystem
Lotus Cars considers the richness of the plugin ecosystem as an important criterion for selecting an API management solution. They expect to configure plugins either on the consumers within API7 Enterprise or the global clusters.
Here are several key plugins and their functionalities that are of particular importance to Lotus Cars:
- Rate Limiting and Circuit Breaking:
These features allow them to control the rate at which consumers can access their APIs, preventing abuse or excessive traffic. Circuit breaking helps protect the API infrastructure by automatically isolating faulty or overloaded services, ensuring system stability.
- Fallback Data:
In cases where rate limiting is triggered, Lotus Cars wants the option to retrieve response data from an alternative URL and provide it to the client. This feature ensures that even when rate limits are reached, users still receive meaningful responses by fetching data from a secondary source. Additionally, Lotus Cars desires the capability to configure custom text as a response when rate limiting is enforced.
Lotus Cars requires the ability to expose API interfaces and update allowlist/denylist. This functionality enables them to control access to their APIs based on predefined criteria. They can specify which consumers or client IPs are allowed or denied access to certain APIs, enhancing security and access control.
- API ACL (Access-Control List):
API7's support for API ACL is a crucial factor in Lotus Cars' decision-making process. ACL allows them to define fine-grained access control policies for their APIs. By setting permissions and restrictions at the API level, they can ensure that only authorized consumers or groups have access to specific endpoints or resources. This feature provides fine-grained control over API security and protects against unauthorized access and misuse.
The team values the support for upstream health checks. By enabling the configuration of upstream health checks, Lotus Cars can monitor the health and availability of their upstream services. This feature ensures that traffic is intelligently distributed only to healthy services, ensuring optimal performance and high availability of their API infrastructure.
API7 Enterprise can help the Infrastructure team at Lotus Cars to gain a thorough comprehension of API quantity, quality, and QPS, which empowers the company to make informed decisions regarding API management. This enhanced visibility enables the team to take proactive measures in managing and optimizing the API ecosystem, guaranteeing optimal performance, scalability, and user satisfaction.
Reliable Security Control
Lotus Cars also seeks a feature similar to the multi-layered networking offered by API7 Enterprise. This multi-layered approach enables Lotus Cars to safeguard its API ecosystem effectively and realize reliable security control for its digital assets, data, and communication channels. Drawing inspiration from the implementation employed by a leading automobile manufacturer, this functionality empowers Lotus Cars to design and manage complex network topologies that meet their specific requirements.
API7.ai has achieved SOC (System and Organization Controls) 2 Type 1 certification, made by EY (Ernst & Young). The report shows that the internal control process of API7.ai and its product API7 Enterprise has met the trusted service standards proposed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) regarding security, availability, confidentiality, and can provide reliable security guarantees and services for global customers.
Furthermore, API7 Enterprise fully complies with the rigorous FIPS, elevating the business's data security to new heights.
Support Dynamic Service Discovery for Multiple Clusters
Another important consideration for Lotus Cars is the desire to support multiple Kubernetes and Nacos clusters for service discovery. By incorporating support for multiple clusters, API7 provides Lotus Cars with the flexibility to manage and discover services across different clusters. This capability enhances the scalability and adaptability of their API infrastructure.
Achievements after Using API7 Enterprise
Lotus Cars has achieved remarkable milestones by harnessing the power of API7 Enterprise. Here are the key accomplishments that showcase the transformative impact of this cutting-edge platform:
Seamless System Communication and Integration
With API7 Enterprise at the core of its operations, Lotus Cars has witnessed a seamless flow of communication and integration between the internal APIs. The platform's agility and rapid iteration capabilities have allowed Lotus Cars to swiftly adapt and iterate its APIs, ensuring continuous improvement and alignment with its evolving business needs.
Exceptional Customer Support and Responsiveness
API7 Enterprise has revolutionized Lotus Cars' customer support experience, enabling the team to engage with their valued customers in a more personalized and efficient manner. API7 provides remote support and responds rapidly to Lotus Cars' inquiries, effectively reducing the time it takes to establish communication and set up services. What used to be a process spanning several quarters has now been condensed into just a month, empowering Lotus Cars to deliver products with unprecedented speed and agility. This remarkable time and cost-saving achievement has significantly elevated its market competitiveness.
Core Traffic Management
API7 Enterprise plays a pivotal role in managing Lotus Cars' traffic. It efficiently handles the complexities of traffic management for Lotus Cars' diverse channels, including mini apps, sales market apps, and intelligent APIs related to in-car charging. By leveraging the platform's robust routing, load balancing, and optimization capabilities, Lotus Cars ensures smooth and reliable user experiences across these crucial touchpoints.
Informed Insights and Enhanced API Management
The implementation of API7 Enterprise has provided the Infrastructure team with invaluable insights into their internal API landscape. Lotus Cars now has a comprehensive understanding of API quantity, quality, and QPS, empowering the company to make well-informed decisions regarding API management. This newfound visibility allows the team to proactively manage and optimize the API ecosystem, ensuring optimal performance, scalability, and user satisfaction. Additionally, Lotus Cars can accurately anticipate user behavior and plan for future enhancements, enabling them to stay ahead of market demands.
Lotus Cars, like many other automotive manufacturers, recognizes the evolving nature of modern vehicles. Today's cars are not just hardware devices but also incorporate software components, making software subscriptions and intelligent APIs crucial for their functionality. In this context, API management plays a vital role, and several automotive companies, including Geely and XPeng, have adopted APISIX or API7 solutions for their API management needs.
For Lotus Cars, the API7 solution proves to be an excellent product for handling north-south traffic. It offers a range of features and functionalities that align with Lotus Cars' requirements and enables them to effectively manage the APIs powering their vehicles and deliver a seamless experience to their customers.
Furthermore, API7 Enterprise will continue to evolve and improve, with various deployment options available to handle north-south and east-west traffic efficiently. This allows users to choose the deployment method that best suits their infrastructure.