Detroit Electric Still Has A Pulse, Or So It Claims
Believe it or not, but Detroit Electric is still alive and kicking. I won’t hate on anyone thinking otherwise because even I thought the company had long hit the dirt. But it’s apparently not true. The company is headed to the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicles event in the U.K. next week and it’s bringing an announcement of some kind that points towards its future as an EV company. This should be interesting.
The company was coy on details when it announced its intentions, but it seems that it’s now on a far better financial footing than where it was in the past. At least that’s the picture Chief Technical Officer and Company Director, Richie Frost, tried to paint when he said that the company has “secured the solid financial foundation to embark on our business plan.” More to that, Frost added that the company is actually embarking on a major recruiting drive with plans to fill its ranks with anywhere from 150 to 200 new employees. For sure, it’s a revealing development that puts to light a different perspective on what the company’s status is at the moment and moving forward. Whether this new-found optimism lasts is an entirely different matter. After all, this is the same company that promised to launch the SP:01 electric sports car three years ago and then added an electric SUV and an electric sedan to its plans two years ago. Nothing’s come out of it so it’s going to be interesting to see if the “solid financial foundation” Frost is talking about has legitimate legs to it.
Continue after the jump to read the full story
Detroit Electric Planning To Build Electric SUV And Luxury Sedan
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.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Have you ever heard of Detroit Electric? If you answered in the affirmative, you get a cookie, but we’ll probably have to mash it up and feed it to you with a spoon because the automaker kicked the bucket way back in 1939. Now, however, Detroit Electric is back, and it’s bringing with it a new all-electric sports car. It’s called the SP:01, and it’s based on a Lotus, bears loads of the latest EV technology, runs a 0-to-60 time under four seconds, and a boasts a very feathery curb weight.
Here’s a bit of background for those of you still left in the dark. Back in the early 1900s, the ICE-powered vehicle was far less popular than it is now. EVs were the preferred choice over the noisy, polluting, gas-powered alternatives. It was at this time that Detroit Electric thrived, with up to 2,000 electric cars sold annually by 1910.
However, over time, cheap gas and inventions like the electric starter and muffler pushed the EV to the sidelines, eventually unplugging it altogether.
But in case you didn’t notice, the electric vehicle is back, and in a big way. Now, five years after rising from the ashes, Detroit Electric is getting ready to unleash a sports car that the company hopes will “spearhead a diverse family of all-electric productions cars” for the future.
But times have changed a bit since 1910, which begs the question – how will the SP:01 shape up alongside rivals in the increasingly competitive modern EV marketplace?
Updated 07/16/2015: Detroit Electric finally revealed full specifications on its new SP:01. Read on for the details.
Continue reading to find out more about the Detroit Electric SP:01.
Upstart automakers are always a huge risk and it’s never wise to get too awful excited about one particular concept that you see from a new automaker, as the deck is stacked against it from day one. Enter in the newly revived Detroit Electric and its nearly stillborn, but really exciting Detroit Electric SP:01.
Back in June, we let you know that the SP:01 was delayed one month, pushing its production date into September — a 1-month delay — because it couldn’t finalize the purchase agreement on a facility in Wayne County, Michigan. Well, apparently that fiasco is an ongoing one, as The Detroit News is reporting that the same issue is causing yet another delay in production of its $135k, Lotus-based sports car.
Newsflash: If you do not have a factory to build cars in, then you do not have a car. It’s as simple as that and Detroit Electric is finding this out the hard way. Additionally, according to the same reports, Detroit Electric is in "negotiations with other parties that have the potential to impact our business strategy and timing," which seems rather odd to be doing without a factory to work from, unless these may be negotiations with other facilities or a production deal with another manufacturer.
We certainly hope that this gets all sorted out and the that SP:01 is a massive success, which will ultimately expand the availability of lower-priced, sporty EVs. Stay tuned for more details.
Click past the jump to read a little about the Detroit Electric SP:01
The resurrection of Detroit Electric came as quite a surprise when it announced its intentions to reenter the market in March. What came as even more of a surprise was the quickness in which it announced its first car – the 2014 SP:01 – and the fact that it had planned to release its first model in August 2013. The latter was a little ambitious, per a report, as it appears that the release has been delayed for about a month.
According to The Detroit News, Detroit Electric has been holed up in an already-occupied facility in Plymouth Township and has been working on finalizing a deal for a Wayne County manufacturing facility. However, some Is and Ts remain undotted and uncrossed in the contract, which will push production to sometime in September instead of the originally announced August start date.
According to the report, Detroit Electric expects the new facility to be capable of putting out 2,500 units per year, but it only plans to sell 999 SP:01 units in total. So, this potential facility should be home to at least one other future model.
Click past the jump to read more about the Detroit Electric SP:01
Back in 1939, Detroit Electric stopped producing cars and the last one rolled out of a showroom in 1942, then things went quiet until 2008. This is when Zap snagged up the famed moniker and sat on it for a few years, as management decided what to do with it. Seemingly out of nowhere, Detroit Electric has just dropped a press release announcing that it is coming back in full fury with an all-electric sports car and they released the first teaser image of this new car (above).
This yet-to-be-named sports car will be revealed for the first time in Detroit Electric’s hometown in April – likely at the Fisher Building. After that, the car will be unveiled globally at the Shanghai Motor Show on April 20th. In Shanghai is where all of the juicy bits of information will be released, including the announcement of the “major partnership” with a “global carmaker” that helped make its resurrection possible. We’re not too sure which global carmaker that Detroit Electric is teaming up with, but we are thinking it is likely one of the “Big Three.”
The new sports car is expected to start production in August of 2013 and the factory can handle about 2,500 cars annually. According to the Detroit Electric, the sports car will feature “bold styling, outstanding performance, exhilarating handling characteristics and impressive range,” so it looks like we’re in for something really special.
This isn’t all that Detroit Electric is up to, as they also announced that they will offer up a family of all-electric cars with two other high-performance models that will hit the market in 2014. We can’t wait to get some more details…
Click past the jump to read the press release