Detroit Electric (which builds its cars in the UK, mind you) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Korea’s Jeju Island to provide 300 electric vehicles to the zero emissions island. Did anybody tell them the only car Detroit Electric makes is a two-seat Lotus-based sports car priced at over $100,000?
Detroit Electric desperately wants to be taken seriously this time around, despite a false start a few years ago, as well as two manufacturing delays and a the broken promise to build its cars in, y’know, Detroit. It’s a tenacious company though, I’ll give it that, and despite all the obvious hurdles that stand in the way of this plan, Detroit Electric seems ready to make its own mark on the EV world.
The cornerstone of this project is a partnership with Korea’s Integrated Energy company and patented two-way charging/discharging system, which will to provide power to homes and the grid as a means of storing green-sourced energy. The project will also explore the use of used EV batteries in other applications as Jeju aims to be entirely emissions free by 2020. Beginning in early 2015, Detroit Electric will begin shipping the Lotus-based SP:01 to the island, though the company claims to be working on a more pedestrian (but useful) sedan model, as well as 2+2 supercar.
Sounds great and all, but a Memorandum of Understanding is typically a non-binding agreement, and given Detroit Electric’s history of not delivering on one damn thing they’ve promised so far (save for a small Michigan office that serves as “headquarters”), I’m not going to get my hopes up. When you’ve seen as many electric car companies come and go as me, you start to get jaded to all the hype. I hope Detroit Electric succeeds on a massive scale to serve as a rival to Tesla and the conventional automakers…but at this point, I wouldn’t bet on it.
There’s a reason most new automakers die in the cradle, and Detroit Electric has a pretty shitty track record when it comes to keeping promises, and filling an island with $120,000 electric sports cars seems like a tall order to a fledgling company to fulfill.