Detroit Electric Planning To Build Electric SUV And Luxury Sedan
Long-term plans have a little bit of Tesla inspiration in them, right?by Kirby Garlitos, on
Detroit Electric denies that it’s not following Tesla’s footsteps, but judging from a recent report indicating the company’s long-term plans, it’s hard to believe otherwise. According to a report from Norwegian website Rb.no, the upstart EV automaker is planning to launch an all-electric luxury sedan in 2019, which will then be followed by an all-electric SUV.
Company CEO and former Apple and Lotus executive Albert Lam announced the company’s plans in Norway as it prepares to expand its lineup past the SP:01 sports car that it released in a limited production run in 2015. The SP:01’s official debut is scheduled to take place later this year, but plans are already in motion to add the two new models into the mix in the coming years. Details regarding the EV luxury sedan and SUV are still scant at this point, but according to Lam, neither model will be using the same Lotus gliders that was at the heart of the SP:01. Instead, both models will be built from the ground up, which would presumably include the platform that both the sedan and the SUV will reportedly share. Once launched, Detroit Electric is targeting a production run of 50,000 to 60,000 units a year for both models.
As for the SP:01, Detroit Electric is in the process of expanding its dealership partnerships in anticipation for the EV sports car’s official launch later this year. There’s no word on how expansive that network is in the present, but part of Lam’s visit in Norway, an important market for electric vehicles, was to establish ties with local dealerships.
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Why it matters
For the record, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with following Tesla’s template. Elon Musk and company have shown that its formula has worked, hiccups and all. That said, I do have some concerns; it seems Detroit Electric is jumping the gun by laying out its plans prematurely.
I’m not bashing the company for being ambitious. It’s a great quality to have for a start-up company, especially if it’s channeled properly. But here’s my issue: I think it would have been better for the company to roll out the SP:01 first before announcing the new models it has in the pipeline. Doing so removes the pressure of making sure that the SP:01 is successful as a model. And since the jury is still out on the EV sports car, Detroit Electric would’ve put itself in a far less pressurized situation than where it is now.
But the company essentially decided to call its own number. That’s something that a lot of people will now take notice of, myself included. Personally, my interest in how the SP:01 fares when it’s officially launched is higher than it would’ve been if the company had opted to let the electric sports car’s fate dictate itself. It doesn’t help that the SP:01 costs a staggering $130,000, which is higher than most of the Tesla Model S’ range.
Only time will tell if the Albert Cam’s decision to announce plans of an all-electric luxury sedan and SUV comes to fruition. I’d like to see it happen, but I’ll reserve my optimism until at least one of the two models arrive.
Read our full review on the 2016 Detroit Electric SP:01 here.