Detroit Electric CEO Targets Tesla With Michigan Versus California Comment; Discusses Partnership with Major Chinese OEM
“In my opinion, there’s been a big myth generated by California electric vehicle companies that California has all the technology. I disagree 100 percent. There’s more technology, there’s more automotive talent here in Southeast Michigan than all the other states combined.”
Those are the words of Don Graunstadt, CEO Detroit Electric North America operations, who spoke to Michigan’s MLive shortly after yesterday’s unveiling of Detroit Electric’s two-seat roadster.
To us, Graundstadt’s comments seems squarely aimed at Tesla Motors and, in fact, the approach to be taken by Detroit Electric seems a carbon copy of the path forged by Tesla.
Detroit Electric’s first vehicle, an electric roadster based on the Lotus Elise, will go on sale in limited numbers by the end of August 2013. Following the roadster, Detroit Electric says a “diverse family” of electric production vehicles will enter production by the end of 2014.
Detroit Electric signed licensing agreements to use Lotus platforms for its first two vehicles.
“We think we have the best electric car out there,” says Graunstadt, in the typical bold Elon Musk fashion.
Also like Tesla, there’s been some delays for Detroit Electric. The roadster, which was teased only yesterday, was supposed to make its debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, but as Graunstadt explains, the automaker didn’t want to rush its public unveiling.
And as for that “major partnership with a global carmaker” that Detroit Electric touched upon yesterday, it turns out the partnership deal is with a “larger Chinese OEM.”
Finally, Graunstadt told MLive that Detroit Electric hasn’t even firmed up a deal for an assembly site for its roadster, but says the automaker is “close to finalizing an assembly facility in Wayne County (Michigan).”
With production set to start in August, Detroit Electric seems to be behind schedule, but we’ll give the startup automaker the benefit of the doubt for now.