Detroit Electric Gets Nearly $2 Billion In New Investment Money

 

Once upon a time, there was company that wanted to rip the engine out if a Lotus sports car, stuff it full of batteries and an electric motor, and jump into the deep end of the electric car pool. You can be forgiven if your first thought is, “Tesla Motors.” In this case, though, we are talking about Detroit Electric, a company whose electric car dreams began back in 2008. Frankly, other than announcing the SP-1 Lotus based sports car two years ago, nothing much has happened with the company. Until now.

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric just announced a joint venture worth $1.8 billion with Far East Smarter Energy Group, a Chinese electrical and battery company. It says it has plans for two new electric car models in the next two years. The new joint venture company will spend¬†$370 million to ramp up Detroit Electric’s European operations over the next four years. Part of that expansion includes updating and adding to the current facility located in Leamington Spa, England.

The first priority is to get the long delayed SP:01 into production, something they hope to accomplish before the end of this year. Simultaneously, a new R&D and testing facility will get underway. An electric SUV is planned for 2018 with a third vehicle due to come to market in 2020. Detroit Electric hopes to be selling 100,000 cars a year by then.

The plan sounds overly aggressive for a company that has languished by the side of the electric car highway for nearly a decade with nothing to show for its efforts. Elon Musk found out the hard way that thinking about building an automobile is easy; actually producing one is hard. The competition is ramping up. The mainstream manufactures may view electric cars as ugly step-children — something to be tolerated rather than embraced — but Detroit Electric will soon have lots of company.

Faraday Future, Lucid, and NIO all have electric SUVs coming. Tesla is already working on an SUV version of the Model 3. The German car companies all have electric SUVs on their drawing boards. Nonetheless, never underestimate the power of nearly $2 billion. Someone clearly thinks Detroit Electric has a bright future. “We’ll see,” said the Zen Master.

Source: Autoblog





About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.
  • trackdaze

    The top 3 or 4 sellers in the market are all pickups.

    Why are we still making low volume electrified roadsters and sedans with suvs still around.thw corner?

    • Epicurus

      Damn good question. The Volt should have been an SUV, even a small one, and it should have been followed up with a plug-in hybrid pickup.

      Maybe the Chinese will move in and build what most Americans want to buy.