Irony: First Detroit Electric SP:01 Built In UK, Sold To China

2 years ago by Mark Kane 29

Dr Richard Lee, Chairman of Jowett Motors and Ben Boycott, Detroit Electric

Dr Richard Lee, Chairman of Jowett Motors and Ben Boycott, Detroit Electric

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric, which set up its first store in the UK a year ago and also began assembly of SP:01 roadster around 4 months ago, announced an expansion plan for Asia.

Now the first production car, manufactured in UK heads to China according to press release.

“The first production-specification Detroit Electric sports car has rolled off the UK assembly line and has been exported to China, as the electric vehicle company’s expansion in Asia continues.”

Company that bears the name of Thomas Edison’s Detroit Electric and borrowed product strategy from Tesla, now has pretty bizarre approach of not offering the SP:01 in the U.S., where the production and sales were planned originally (2,500 worth…in 2014)

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric SP:01

We do have to say, it’s extremely difficult to establish electric car company (and as the company was burying us with press releases on its large future successes in the US, we didn’t even imagine they would even get this far) so we have respect to Detroit Electric for the try and will see ow it progress.

In China, the SP:01 is imported by Jowett Motors (Asia) Ltd., which for over 23 years was importing renowned sports car marques from Italy and Germany.

A little strange to us is that on the first photo above, the first unit is right-hand drive, while China is left-hand drive. As a result, the first SP:01 will be only demonstrator.

Detroit Electric SP:01 Spec Sheet

Detroit Electric SP:01 Spec Sheet – 288km/179 miles of NEDC range is equal to about ~135 miles of real world/EPA driving

Will volume production and sales occur and when?  That we don’t know.

“The white SP:01 was presented to Dr Richard Lee, Chairman of Jowett Motors, by Detroit Electric Head of Engineering, Ben Boycott. It will be used as a demonstrator vehicle to fulfil a stream of enquiries from prospective customers that followed the appointment of Jowett Motors last April and the appearance of the SP:01 at Auto Shanghai 2015.

This handover of the first SP:01 marks another major step forward in Detroit Electric’s continued expansion and investment in the Asian region, where the company hopes soon to announce the appointment of a distributor for Japan.”

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric SP:01

Albert Lam, Chairman and CEO of Detroit Electric, said:

“We are extremely proud to team up with Jowett Motors, a company that has an exceptional track record in the establishment and selling of exclusive, high performance sports cars in the Chinese market.

“Jowett Motors’ desire to join us as we prepare for full-scale production and sales of our upcoming range of pure electric vehicles is a huge endorsement of our products and brand, and a demonstration of their confidence in the progress we are making in Asia and around the world,”

Dr Richard Lee, Chairman of Jowett Motors said:

“We were honoured and excited to be selected as Detroit Electric importer for China and we are now delighted to receive the first production-specification SP:01. Our many potential customers in China have been looking forward with relish to this chance to experience the SP:01 close-up in our country.

“The new SP:01 sports car is a diamond and a collectable item in itself.  It has super car look and feel and, of course, it delivers supercar performance,”.

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric SP:01

About the Detroit Electric SP:01:

“The Detroit Electric SP:01, the world’s lightest and fastest two-seat pure-electric sports car, goes on sale in Asia and Europe over the coming months. It promises blistering acceleration, reaching 60mph from standstill in just 3.7 seconds (0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds) and a sprint to an impressive top speed of 155mph (249km/h).

Featuring a 285HP / 210kW electric motor and carbon fibre body panels, the car is fitted with a single speed automatic transmission as standard, with the option of both twin-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmissions. The SP:01 is supplied with both hard and soft tops as standard. The battery in the SP:01 has been integrated into the chassis as a stressed member, adding stiffness to enhance handling and safety. The military grade, lightweight high density lithium battery is the most energy-dense automotive battery pack in the world, offering over 140Wh/kg, benefitting range while keeping overall vehicle weight low.”

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29 responses to "Irony: First Detroit Electric SP:01 Built In UK, Sold To China"

  1. evcarnut says:

    Maybe Nichol cadnium Batteries lol… Range cannot be very impressive otherwise they’d be bragging about it. It’s all too vegh. Infact 0-60 is not impressive either, when a Tesla S that’s 3 times it’s size can beat it… Some supercar that is . no wonder the don’t sell to the US market, Very few would buy it..

    1. BG says:

      SP:01 has acceleration like Tesla roadster but smaller battery, less weight, higher top speed and less range.

      1. Robb Stark says:

        10 years later.

  2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Dear Detroit Electric:

    Congratulations on completing, and selling, your first car.

    P.S. — You might want to consider changing your name. For example, “Warwick Electric” would be both more descriptive and less confusing.

  3. andre says:

    mileage-range,battery kW…?

    1. Brian says:

      Wikipedia has its uses at times.

      “The electric car will have a 37 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack capable of delivering a range of 180 mi (290 km) under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standard.”

      1. Will says:

        You’ve got to be f*****g kidding me, I swear Tesla and GM are the only companies with ANY BLOODY COMMON SENSE.

        This utter foolish obsession with REALLY LOW RANGE OVERPRICED CARS the other companies seem mad about is just driving me bat-s**t crazy.

        1. floydboy says:

          They may be attempting to duplicate Tesla’s path to success. High priced low production, eventually moving down in price and up in volume. If they can make compelling enough cars that sell, they might make it to the next stage.

  4. Bill Howland says:

    I don’t see any Irony.

    1. Robb Stark says:

      The name implies it is American.

      But the exact opposite is true. That is the definition of irony.

      It is neither made nor sold in America.

      1. floydboy says:

        Yeah, maybe they observed Coda’s fate, or witnessed the ongoing struggle Tesla’s having selling an American manufactured product IN America and decided maybe better to start elsewhere.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        A triviality.

        I’ve said several times that Lotus reached its limit of non-compliant cars in 2011 and unless someone wants to electrify the EVORA, there ain’t gonna be any more Lotus EV’s in the states. I’ve had one of ’em for 4 years.

    2. ffbj says:

      How ironic.

  5. Anon says:

    10 years later, we have our first Tesla Roadster Clone! And the specs seems kinda lame, for the price.

    *sarcastic sounds of joy*

    1. ffbj says:

      Sounds? I would prefer expressions of joy, like: oh goody, or: how marvelous. Just wondering what does joy sound like?

  6. wavelet says:

    “Mid engined” (from the first line in the spec insert). A surprising mistake in English for a UK-based company.

  7. JakeY says:

    This is basically a Tesla Roadster with a multi-speed transmission (for a higher top speed of 155mph vs 125mph) and a smaller battery (saved them 133 lbs of weight).

    1. Mart says:

      ” the car is fitted with a single speed automatic transmission as standard,…”

      Doesn’t sound like a multi-speed transmission, does it?

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Just a random note: The “performance” version (with the as quoted 0-60mph in 3.9 second time) is a 6-speed.

        So everyone can be right on this one, (=

    2. Bill Howland says:

      People here don’t know anything about Lotus’ products. And you can look it up on their website. It is mid-engined and it is not like the Tesla Roadster.

      Since it is so easy to get the correct info after several articles, I don’t see the point of making such inaccurate statements.

      But, of course, since last year there has been a Lotus dealer in my town, but of course, they can only sell one model.

      As far as Charging Standard, they’ve always said they have a J1772 jacked 32 amp charger in the car. Haven’t read anything that they’ve changed that. Supposedly bi-directional.

      1. JakeY says:

        This car based on the newer Exige (Roadster was a custom platform that was modified from the previous gen Elise platform), but the layout is basically the same. Roadster was also “mid-engined” (or more accurately mid-battery / mid-motor).

        Obviously the styling and details are different, but the basic ideal and general specs is almost the same (other than the differences I pointed out).

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Yeah, basically the same because they both have 4 wheels.

          The engines are in different places, and this car is larger, and looks completely different.. But this car is a bit closer to the Exige since you can still get it with a manual transmission.

          But other than that they are identical.

          Unbelievable. And the next article someone will be saying the same thing.

          When I first started Driving my Roadster around, I’d hear comments about there being a Lotus in town. I’m glad someone recognized an Elise.

          1. JakeY says:

            I’m still not sure what you are on about. There are a lot more similarities between this and the Roadster than just 4 wheels. Both are:
            – based on Lotus Elise/Exige aluminum tub platform
            – two seat targa top EVs
            – 0-60 3.7 seconds
            – 286-288 hp
            – under 2800 lbs
            – under 13 feet long
            – 3.7 feet tall
            – has battery/motors behind the passengers and forward of the rear axles.
            – uses battery pack as a stressed member of its aluminum chassis
            – has a small cargo bin behind the battery pack
            – uses carbon fiber body panels
            – is available in right hand drive

            I would say that is a very long list of similarities.

            The Ruf Greenster is also a targa top two seater EV, but I would not be making the same comment about that. Nor would I for the R8 etron, or SLS e-Cell.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              Yup, the paint is some shade of color also. How about that. Actually, per their website they are offering it with 2 different motors. I wish they were offering it with 2 different batteries.

            2. Bill Howland says:

              According the Lotus website, the Elise is 866 kg, and the Exige is 1166 kg. Obviously identical in every way.

            3. Bill Howland says:

              That’s as stupid as saying a Chevy Cruze and a Chevy Impala are identical cars because they have a “LONG LIST OF SIMILIARITIES”.

              Irrespective of the fact that the cars are different lengths and different weights, they both have Seats!

        2. Bill Howland says:

          Ha, maybe yours was but mine was under the inverter, which was behind the battery. And those things were basically in the trunk as was the rear-engined Elise.

  8. floydboy says:

    I wonder what charging standard they will adopt?
    Would probably really help sales if they go with supercharger standard.

  9. Rockman says:

    Anyone notice the Logo Design? Looks an awful lot like the Alfa Romeo….