Once upon a time in America, electric vehicles were sold by the thousands, and the chief EV was the Detroit Electric, built by Anderson carriage. A few years ago, the Detroit Electric name was revived, with the hopes of selling a Lotus-based electric roadster. Now Detroit Electric is back, again, with the intention of selling an electric roadster based on…a Lotus.
More than a century ago, Detroit Electric sold EVs with a range as high as 80 miles, But once the Model T hit the scene, electric cars fell out of fabor, and by 1939 Detroit Electric went belly-up. But now some investors have brought the Detroit Electric Name back to build a new brand of cars.
The money behind the new Detroit Electric wants to build a two-person EV based on the Lotus Exige, a car you can’t buy in America because it lacks airbags. The Exige is essentially a coupe version of the Lotus Elise, the car which Tesla used to build its popular Roadster model. Detroit Electric announced its deal with Proton right around the time Tesla delivered its first Roadster.
Then all went quiet, no doubt because of the collapse of the global financial system. The original Detroit Electric revival plan called for a roadster based on the Elise, and a sedan built by Proton. The sedan idea has been dropped, as has the roadster; instead, Detroit Electric will build a lightweight coupe, though they failed to mention any specifics in regards to range, power, speed, or cost.
It makes everything sound very suspect, but Detroit Electric did open a new headquarters in Detroit’s Fisher building, while scouting nearby production facilities. The official debut for this new coupe is just a month away at the Shanghai Auto Show, and Detroit Electric promises 180 Michigan-based jobs as well.
Sounds like the same story we heard before…but since Tesla no longer produces the Roadster, the market for a (relatively speaking) affordable electric sports coupe is wide open. Maybe Detroit Electric can capitalize on this wide open market.
Source: Detroit Electric