China's Geely Automobile Group (owners of Volvo) and Michigan-based Detroit Electric have agreed to a "strategic partnership" to "co-develop battery-electric vehicles and related electric-drive systems" for China's growing automotive market.
Conventional Version of Geely's Emgrand EC7
Under the terms of the partnership, the first electric vehicle to emerge will be the Emgrand EC7-EV-Detroit Technology. It's based on Geely’s current-generation Emgrand EC7 (Geely's top selling vehicle in China) and will go on sale in 2014.
The EC7-EV will initially be sold primarily to fleets and local government in China with sales expected to reach 3,000 units in its first full year on the market. Geely and Detroit Electric optimistically say that sales will likely reach 30,000 units in three years' time after the vehicle launches to the general public.
Emgrand EC7 Interior-Gas Fueled Version
Additional terms of the partnership call for Geely and Detroit Electric to work together to joint engineer and develop "all areas of the EV powertrain solution, including electric motor, vehicle management system, advanced thermo-managed battery pack, battery management system and a twin-speed high-torque gearbox"
A joint venture company will be established to manufacture all of the necessary EV components at a location "close to Geely’s headquarters in Hangzhou."
Albert Lam, Chairman and Group CEO of Detroit Electric, states:
Geely Emgrand EC7- Gas Burning Version
"Detroit Electric will jointly develop the EC7-EV, covering all aspects of the powertrain and chassis, safety, vehicle dynamics, system integration, NVH and other items. We have been working alongside Geely for some time to optimise the EV drive technologies for integration into the vehicles and this partnership will now fast-track both Geely and Detroit Electric to realizing the great EV market potential in the Chinese market. I am confident that we can become a leader of pure electric vehicles in the Chinese market within the next 18 months."
Meanwhile, Mr. Feng, President of Emgrand, added:
"Our partnership with a leading electric vehicle technology provider such as Detroit Electric will enable us to enhance and accelerate our own expertise and knowledge in this area. The EC7-EV will enable us to provide a wider vehicle choice to our customers and it also reiterates our commitment to providing alternate energy vehicles to the market in China."
The EC7-EV will supposedly be offered in two range options: 103 miles or 160 miles per charge. Acceleration from 0 to 62 mph is claimed to take less than 8 seconds, while top speed is listed at 124 mph. No additional details are available at this time.
For details on Detroit Electric's first production vehicle, the SP:01, click here.