Detroit Electric Unveils Electric SP:01, Starting From $135,000

5 years ago by Jay Cole 10

Detroit Electric Introduces What It Says Is "The Fastest Mass Produced EV In The World"

Detroit Electric Introduces What It Says Is The “Fastest Battery Electric Vehicle To Be Produced In Volume Production”

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.

Detroit Electric's SP:01 Said To Go 0-62 mph in 3.7 Seconds

Detroit Electric’s SP:01 Said To Go 0-62 mph in 3.7 Seconds

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.

SP:01 Without It's Top

SP:01 Without It’s Top

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.

The SP:01 Will Be Built In Wayne County, Michigan

The SP:01 Will Be Built In Wayne County, Michigan

Color choices include:

  • Electric Blue
  • Metallic Black
  • Lightning Silver
  • Pearl White
  • Ardent Red
  • Bronze Orange
  • Pearlescent Green

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.”

Do We Really Have To Keep Making Up Interesting Captions?  It's A Good Looking Car, And We Like Looking At It!

Do We Really Have To Keep Making Up Interesting Captions? It’s A Good Looking Car, And We Like Looking At It!

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)

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10 responses to "Detroit Electric Unveils Electric SP:01, Starting From $135,000"

  1. Anon says:

    *Yawn* Oh, look… A Tesla Clone by a company that’s not built an EV in 60 years… Good luck using that standard transmission with a high torque motor. 😛

    I do like their 1920’s models though…

    1. Jay Cole says:

      It is interesting they seem to be saying they have overcome that problem. We have heard a similar story in the past from others.

  2. David Murray says:

    Wow.. looks almost exactly like a Tesla Roadster. At a distance I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Given the choice, I’d rather have a Tesla because at least we know those are reliable for the most part and the company that makes/services it will probably be around a while.

    1. Open-Mind says:

      I agree in the sense that every roadster looks pretty much like every other roadster. Also that Tesla is a safer bet at this point.

      However, within the roadster family, I think it’s lines look far more aggressive and racy than the Tesla. The Tesla is rounder and more Miata-ish. Some will like that, some not. Hope they sell enough to keep going.

  3. bloggin says:

    The more EV options available the better. It sounds like it’s offering a few options the Tesla Roadster didn’t. Now Tesla will have direct competition to push them to be even better.

    1. bloggin says:

      But it is a bit deceptive that they call themselves ‘Detroit Electric’, when ALL their financial backing comes the Chinese Government.

      Which is quite different than Mercedes-Benz 4.3% stake in Tesla.

  4. Future Leaf Driver says:

    Tesla has already done this, for less money! Oh well, good luck, and hopefully they will sell them all, the more EVs the better!

    Wow, $135k, that’s like buying almost 6 Leafs after tax rebates!

  5. Bill Howland says:

    As a Roadster owner, I have to say I’m somewhat underwhelmed by the Detroit Electric.

    I like the 4 speed transmission, (2 would be adequate but I understand the (4) is in production).

    I dont like the 37 kwh battery. While better than the microscopically sized things placed in other cars these days, it pales to the roadster’s 53 kwh (at 109k msrp vs 135k)

  6. Steven says:

    Releasing the Lawyers in three… Two… One…

  7. doudis2 says:

    Anyone for Friday the 13th part XLI! Come on DE – a little originality please.

    P.S. Your warranty sucks!