Detroit Electric Isn’t Coming to Detroit, After All

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As we reported recently, the first electric car recently rolled off the production lines at Detroit Electric’s manufacturing facility in the UK, bringing the anticipated electric sports car one step closer to wide release. As many no doubt predicted following the company’s scrapping of plans for production in the car manufacturing hub of Detroit, Michigan (from which Detroit Electric gets its name, natch), it seems that the company may well end up not releasing the new electric vehicle (EV) in the US at all.

That’s right. At this point the “Detroit Electric” name appears to be little more than a means of selling Americana to Europeans. The same goes for cowboys, Camaros, country/honky tonk, blues music, jazz music, etc. The BBC News provides more:

    Even though the first SP:01 has rolled off the line and been sent on its way to an unidentified buyer in an unidentified location, the company (which is headquartered in The Netherlands, by the way) has yet to announce the car’s retail price. One thing is certain, though: the figure won’t be in American dollars. Despite its name, a nod to a defunct US-based maker of electric carriages from 1907 to 1938, the Detroit Electric sports car won’t be available in Detroit — or anywhere else in America. The company plans to sell the SP:01 only in Europe, Asia and few other select markets, including Iceland and South Africa.

    Detroit Electric’s CEO, Albert Lam, who announced the SP:01 with stars-and-stripes-waving enthusiasm back in 2013, doesn’t take the company’s geographic incongruity lightly. “We are Detroit Electric, not London Electric,” said Lam, former CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group. “Our commitment to the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and the United States is as strong as it ever was.” But as the saying goes, love is a verb, and whether Lam can turn affectionate words into action remains to be seen. The company has promised that if things go well for its UK-built sports car, it will open a production facility in its namesake city to build a clean-sheet electric sedan.

You can count me as skeptical that the Detroit Electric SP:01 will ever actually be available for general purchase in Detroit. Oh well, at least we still have Tesla to showcase the (seemingly asleep) “American entrepreneurial spirit.” And, yes, I’m aware that CEO Elon Musk could be called “South African”.

 

Originally published by EV Obsession.

 

James Ayre

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.