The big news last week was the return of Detroit Electric, which is launching later on this year with the SP:01, an all-electric supercar based on the Lotus Elise. Sounds familiar, right? But Detroit Electric promise it isn’t just a Tesla Motors copycat, and the newly-resurrected company is pledging to have both a pure-electric sedan and hatchback on sale by the end of 2014. The question is…how?
It took Tesla Motors about a decade, from conception to production, to bring the Tesla Model S into the world, but Detroit Electric thinks they can do it in less than two years. Their secret? Buying engineless “gliders” from automakers in Southeast Asia, and then adding that Detroit Electric flair that includes a pure electric drivetrain and custom bodies.
Coda Automotive tried the same thing, except they took a boring, plastic-bodied Chinese car and tried to sell it for $44,000. That didn’t work out so well. Detroit Electric pledges their cars will look and feel different, and hopes to sell 10,000 vehicles by 2015. The Lotus-based SP:01 will only represent about 1,000 sales, as the $135,000 electric supercar will have a limited production run.
While the cars will likely be based on Chinese models, Detroit Electric pledges they will have a unique look inside and out. More importantly, final assembly will take place in the Detroit area, and Detroit Electric will also be assembling their own battery packs, which is kind of a big deal.
But will this help Detroit Electric become a big name player in the EV game? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.