Back in the early 1900’s, Detroit Electric produced around 13,000 electric vehicles. Now, they’re back in action, and they recently unveiled their first product set to go on sale later in 2013.
Called the SP:01, the electric sports car is relying on a Lotus Exige shell. The SP:01 uses bespoke bodywork conducted for Detroit Electric, and to save weight is made entirely out of carbon fiber and is supplied to the company as a rolling chassis. The full independent front and rear suspensions, front anti-roll bar, and 90.6 inch wheelbase from Lotus are all retained, but the springs have been upgraded to handle the weight distribution needed for the electric motor and battery pack.
A 37 kWh battery powers an air-cooled, AC electric motor made in the US, and total power output is equal to 201 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque.
Being dubbed as the ‘fastest-ever production electric car’, Detroit Electric says the SP:01 will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds and will have a top speed of 155 mph. Claimed to have a driving range of 180 miles on the New European Driving Cycle, official calculations haven’t been released, and will likely end up around 150 miles on the US test cycle.
Total weight of the vehicle is 2,403 lbs, and the car will retain the Lotus transmission, although the 5th and 6th gear are unused – 60 mph can be achieved in 2nd gear.
Pricing for the Detroit Electric SP:01 electric sports car will be around $135,000, and the company has committed to building 999 of them. Production of the SP:01 will kick off at an undisclosed Detroit-area facility this fall.
During the press release and announcement of the SP:01, Albert Lam, Chairman and CEO of Detroit Electric, and Don Grandstadt, CEO of North American operations, told reporters that new models coming to the market will be a sedan electric vehicle and a hatchback electric vehicle. Both of these will cost far less than the $135,000 of the SP:01 sports car. Specific pricing hasn’t been announced, but Lam said the vehicles will be priced for everyday practical usage. He also said one of them could fall in the $30,000 to $35,000 range, similar to the Nissan Leaf.
Specific details about the new sedan and hatchback have not been divulged, but Detroit Electric says the vehicles will have both short-range and long-range battery options, and they will also feature the SAMI (Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment) system and 360 Powerpack found in the SP:01.
Following the launch of the SP:01, which is limited to just 999 units, the company hopes to sell as many as 10,000 vehicles around the world each year, with the goal of increasing that number to as high as 40,000.