Detroit Electric reborn

After 74 years of dead silence, Detroit Electric comes back with bright vision of future

4/24/14 4:50 pm chumakdenis 1

Detroit autoconcern has always been pioneer in automotive industry.However,financial crisis has shaken our economy and Detroit left global market for decades.But now,a former favourite is in the game again and betting on electromobiles.Will such risky game be successful?

Well, the time will show.

Some history

Between 1907 and 1938, the Detroit Electric Car Company (formerly the Anderson Carriage Company) produced some 13,000 examples of its electric car – a tall, finely appointed carriage powered by a trunk full of lead-acid batteries. The car promised 80 miles of zero-emissions cruising on a full charge, with a top speed of 20mph – pokier than the 40mph Ford Model T, but adequate for city driving. Now, seven decades after the lights went out on Detroit Electric, the company – well, the name, at least – is on the verge of a comeback.

Former Lotus Cars chief Albert Lam revived the Detroit Electric name in 2008, and after a five-year development effort, his gamble seems ready to pay off: The company, from its newly rented headquarters on the 18th floor of Detroit’s landmark Fisher Building, just released this very enticing teaser image. The Lotus Elise-based sports car – which will be the first member of “a diverse family of all-electric production vehicles” – will fill the gap left by the recently departed Tesla Roadster (itself Elise-based).  Lam and company are mum on specs, but a press release promises “bold styling, outstanding performance, exhilarating handling and impressive range.”

A new Detroit Electric SP-01

Detroit Electric unveiled its two-seater at the Shanghai motor show on 20 April. The company aims to open a dedicated factory with an annual capacity of 2500 vehicles – a plan that could bring 180 jobs to Detroit before the end of 2014.

Production of the new roadster is set to commence in August, and Detroit Electric expects to add two additional EVs to its range before the close of 2014.

Well, let's have a closer loot at this  electric offering.  

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 The SP:01 is a two-seat sports car that, despite its diminutive size, makes an impressive claim:  world’s fastest purely electric vehicle. The Lotus-derived, targa-topped sportster will, says the company, blast to 62mph in 3.7 seconds and press on to a 155mph top speed.

The SP:01 features carbon-fibre composite body work over a stiff, bonded aluminium platform. The car’s mid-mounted electric motor, powered by a pair of lithium polymer battery packs, produces a healthy 201 horsepower. The rear wheels are driven through a four-speed manual transmission – a unique feature for a battery-powered vehicle, which develops torque at zero rpm. But for those drivers who prefer a more traditional EV experience, a two-speed automatic is available as an option. Total weight hovers right around 2,400lbs.

With production capped at 999 units, the SP:01 goes on sale this August, priced at a cool $135,000. For thwarted early adopters who aspired to a Tesla Roadster before that Lotus-derived, $110,000 EV left production in 2011, the SP:01 could be read as a rolling second chance – with an inflation adjustment.

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