Detroit has a new player in the automotive manufacturing field: Detroit Electric
, a revival of the iconic electric vehicle brand first launched in 1906.
Detroit Electric produced about 13,000 electric cars before it closed in 1939. In 2008, the brand was revived by Albert Lam, former group CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group and executive director of Lotus Cars of England.
On April 3, the company unveiled its first production car, the SP:01. The SP:01 is the fastest pure-electric sports car in production and is the only pure-electric sports car being built in Detroit. Production will start in August and the cars will be on the street by the end of the year. Only 999 of the SP:01 will be made and it will cost $135,000. Detroit Electric will follow up the SP:01 with higher-production (and more affordable) sedan and hatchback models in 2014.
Lam wants Detroit Electric to be the company that offers drivers the everyday electric driving experience they desire. He hopes to grow from 10,000-40,000 cars in production over the next several years in the worldwide market. "We're trying to be realistic," he says. "We're not trying to be GM. We just want to make a product people love."
Detroit Electric will establish its corporate headquarters on the 18th
floor of the Fisher Building in New Center. This space is currently undergoing renovation; they are launching with six employees in the temporary space inside the Fisher Building, then will increase to 25-30 people once the permanent space is ready. They are also in the final stages of acquiring an assembly facility in an as-yet-unnamed location in Wayne County (this will be one of only two assembly sites worldwide; the other will be in Europe). The assembly facility will employ about 20 people initially. The company's long-term plans also include a research and development center for electric drive trains. All combined, Detroit Electric will eventually create about 300 new jobs.
Source: Albert Lam, Chairman and CEO of Detroit Electric Holdings Ltd. and Don Graundstadt, CEO of Detroit Electric North America Operations
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg
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