Detroit Electric Unveils Electric SP:01, Starting From $135,000
With Tesla VP George Blankenship just recently talking about the next generation of Roadster maybe launching in 5 or 6 years, by looking at Detroit Electric’s recently unveiled creation, you would swear that it just happened today.
The similarities between the Tesla Roadser and the SP:01, from its appearance, right down to both car’s Lotus underpinnings are hard to ignore.
Still, who doesn’t love the Tesla Roadster? And with Tesla no longer able to build them anymore, maybe Detroit Electric can catch the same lightning in a bottle as Tesla did.
Detroit Electric CEO Albert Lam, at the company’s HQ in downtown Detroit, revealed the $135,000 two seat SP:01 supercar to an anxious crowd, “tonight, you bear witness to the rebirth of the Detroit Electric brand.”
The Lotus Exige-based vehicle is all electric, weighing in at 2,403lbs, and has a US-sourced, rear mounted, air-cooled, asynchronous AC electric motor rated at 150 kW (201 hp) and 166lb-ft of torque.
Top speed is claimed to be 155 mph, with a 0-62 mph dash coming up in about 3.7 seconds. Total range of the car, via two lithium batteries that have a capacity of 37 kWh, is estimated at 180 miles on the Euro-NEDC standard, which (by using our InsideEVs patented decoder ring) works out to about 125-130 miles on the US’s EPA cycle.
Detroit Electric claims the SP:01 will be the “fastest battery electric vehicle to be produced in volume production.”
Assembly of the car will happen in the Detroit area (hence the name), and the plant will have an annual capacity of 2,500, which is incidently the amount of gliders Detroit Electric has reportedly struck a deal with Lotus to buy.
Interestingly, Detroit Electric is leaving the stock transmission in the SP:01, although the existing 5th and 6th gears are unused…unless you really want the 5th gear (or the Twinspeed automatic), in which case Detroit Electric will hook you up, for a small (or not so small) fee. The company notes that 1st is all you will need in the city, and 2nd goes north of 60mph.
Color choices include:
Charging can occur in as little as 4.3 hours via 240V, 32-amp charger, although the car is limited at 7.7 kW. A more ‘traditional’ L2 charger would accomplish the task in about 8 hours. Detroit Electric will offer a 30,000 mile manufacturer’s warranty with an optional extension program that will cover owners up to five years and 50,000 miles on the battery.
However, while the plant capacity (and reported deal with Lotus) is 2,500 vehicles. Not all of these cars will produced as SP:01s, as Detroit Electric plans to build only 999 copies. After that, “a new family of all-electric production cars, including two other high-performance models that will enter production by the end of 2014.”
“The SP:01 sports car will allow us to demonstrate to the world our ability to build an exciting and innovative product,” says CEO Lam, “This DNA will be translated across to our future range of vehicles and will ensure that all our cars are fun to drive and deliver exceptional performance within their class.”
With such low production numbers, the car is not subject to the full homologation process of mass-produced vehicles. Which means it can avoid pesky regulations like “special two-stage passenger airbags” that forced the Tesla Roadster out of the US market after 2011.
As for the Detroit Electric brand itself, it is based on a electric car maker in the Detroit area which started in 1907. The nameplate was abandoned in 1939 until being resurrected by Zap and the Youngman Auto Group in 2007.
Detroit Electric plans to announce a manufacturing site for the SP:01 in Wayne County by the end of April, and cars are to be in production by August of 2013.
Even more pics of the SP:01 (double click)