Detroit Electric was an electric car produced by the Anderson Electric Car Company in Detroit, Michigan. The company built 13,000 electric cars from 1907 to 1939. The Detroit Electric brand was revived again in 2008 to produce modern all-electric cars by Detroit Electric Holding Ltd. of the Netherlands. Wikipedia.
News Article | June 19, 2017
The catch: The EP9 costs nearly $1.5 million. NIO, a Chinese-Western hybrid with bases in Shanghai, London and Silicon Valley, created it to showcase the company's technology and had no sales plans. But it is taking orders for "bespoke vehicles" after hearing from buyers ready to pay the eye-popping price. "We are actually pleasantly surprised how much interest we are getting," said the CEO of NIO's U.S. unit, Padmasree Warrior, a veteran of Cisco and Motorola. NIO is part of a wave of fledgling automakers—all backed at least in part by Chinese investors—that are propelling the electric vehicle industry's latest trend: ultra-high-performance cars. Manufacturers including Detroit Electric, Qiantu Motor, Thunder Power and NEVS aim to compete with Europe, Detroit and Japan by offering top speeds over 150 mph (240 kph) and features including carbon fiber bodies and web-linked navigation and entertainment. The ventures mix U.S. and European technology with Chinese money and manufacturing, reflecting this country's rise as a market and investor for an industry where Beijing wants a leading role. Communist leaders see electric vehicles as a way to clear China's smog-choked cities and as an engine for economic development. "We really haven't seen non-Chinese companies get into this super-technology market," said Chris Robinson, who follows the industry for Lux Research. NIO's backers include Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings, operator of the popular WeChat messaging service; computer maker Lenovo Group, a Singapore government-owned investment fund and U.S.-based IDG Capital, TPG and Hillhouse Capital. Some brands are following the strategy of Tesla Inc., which debuted with an eye-catching roadster to establish a premium image before launching lower-priced models. The instant torque and acceleration of electric cars make them natural performance vehicles. Detroit Electric, a revival of a pioneering U.S. electric car brand founded in 1907, launched a sports car venture this year with a Chinese battery maker and the government of Yixing, west of Shanghai. For a base price of $135,000, the company promises zero to 60 mph (100 kph) in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (250 kph). The first seven of 100 cars ordered by European dealers have been delivered, according to its chairman and CEO, Albert Lam, a former Lotus chief executive. He said the company aims to release an SUV in 2018 and wants to have a four-vehicle lineup by 2020. "Our target is to be the first Chinese-based vehicle company to sell worldwide," said Lam. Thunder Power, led by Hong Kong entrepreneur Wellen Sham, has a similarly multinational plan for a sport sedan due out in late 2018. The company is building a factory in southern China and plans a second in Spain. Engineering work is being handled by Italy's Dallara Automobili, which helped develop Bugatti's Veyron, the fastest street-legal car with a top speed of 255 mph (408.84 kph). Thunder Power promises a top speed of 155 mph (245 kph). The company says its competitive edge will be a battery that can go up to 400 miles (650 kilometers) on one charge, or almost double the 200 to 250 miles (320 to 400 kilometers) of current high-end electrics. Beijing's backing has helped to make China the biggest electric vehicle market at a time of uncertainty about the scale of support for the industry from Washington and European governments. Sales in China of plug-in and hybrid vehicles in the first quarter of this year totaled 55,929, versus 44,876 for the United States. The Cabinet hopes to have 100,000 public charging stations and 800,000 private stations operating by the end of this year. Regulators are pressing manufacturers to speed up development with a proposal to require that electrics account for at least 8 percent of each brand's production by next year. To raise its profile, the electric vehicle industry launched its own racing circuit, dubbed Formula E, in 2014 with battery-powered Formula One-style cars and events in China, Europe, the United States and Mexico. Still, no matter how appealing they are, there aren't enough buyers to support so many high-performance brands, said Lux's Robinson. He noted Ferrari or Lamborghini might sell only 15 of their fastest vehicles, which are treated as marketing tools and even at prices above $1 million fail to make a profit. Manufacturers wanting to move into lower priced segments face a crowded market, he said. "Really, not all of them are going to make it," said Robinson. Despite that, the newcomers express confidence they can take market share from established rivals. NIO's Warrior points to the transition from cellphones to smartphones, in which industry leaders were displaced by upstarts. "We are in the beginning of a race. We are all at the same starting position," said Christopher Nicoll, marketing director for Thunder Power. Detroit Electric's Lam said his financial plan calls for each car to be sold at a profit by 2019. "We are not from the internet world," he said. "We know how important it is for a car company to make money." Other Chinese tech companies including internet search engine operator Baidu Inc. and LeEco, an online video service, are working on electric and self-driving vehicles. Most have research centers in Silicon Valley or Europe. "China isn't necessarily a technological leader. They are a production leader," said Robinson. "A lot of the more advanced electric vehicle, power train and other technology research is going on in Europe and the United States." Chinese city governments are forging partnerships with automakers in hopes of becoming manufacturing centers. That helped Detroit Electric carry out its plans after other investors were uncertain, Lam said. He said the company picked Yixing after talking with four cities. "We were invited to come to China," said Lam. The most prominent homegrown competitor is Qiantu Motor, led by a former executive of a state-owned automaker. Qiantu says its K50, on sale next year, will deliver a top speed of 125 mph (200 kph) and go 185 miles (300 kilometers) on one charge. NEVS is developing a sedan to be made in China based on technology acquired from defunct Swedish automaker Saab. Its owners include National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., a Chinese developer of renewable energy technology, the government of the eastern city of Tianjin and State Research Information Technology Co., owned by the Chinese Cabinet. NIO developed the EP9 to promote its technology for self-driving vehicles. The first, a seven-seat SUV, is due to be released in China in 2018. The company worried buyers saw electrics as a "little toy car." It wants to "break that mold and say that an electric car can be a serious performance car," said Warrior. NIO says a self-driving version of the EP9 hit 160 mph (256 kph) in February on an Austin, Texas, test track. "We made seven, thinking it was essentially for a collector," said Warrior. "Now there is increased interest. People actually want to buy this car." Explore further: China car dilemma: Beijing wants electric, buyers want SUVs
News Article | January 11, 2016
There is no doubting that the FFZero1 concept car just unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is eye-catching, but it's one of a number of new and transformed car brands. For example, the Detroit Electric SP:01 or the recently announced Fisker Force 1 and London Taxi Company's TX5. What these companies have in common is a part- or fully-electric powertrain, a willingness to experiment with new business models, and Chinese funding. In a lecture given in 2010, Coventry University Professor Tom Donnelly predicted that the Chinese had the global auto market in their sights. The size of the Chinese domestic market and the challenges of meeting standards in competitive Western markets mean that it's unlikely we will see forecourts spilling over with Chinese brands such as Geelys or Dongfengs any time soon. But as Chinese manufacturing moves up the value chain, China is using its financial clout to buy-up well-known brands and supply expertise. The most obvious example of this trend is the purchase of Volvo by Geely: this sturdy Swedish brand brings first-rate expertise and supply-chain networks. The part-purchase of Peugeot by Dongfeng follows a similar logic. Just as important is that these purchases provide the scope to enable Chinese manufacturers to test global markets and gain credibility, not just in Europe and America, but in the all-important domestic market where foreign brands remain (for now) highly prized. This is a classic example of a technological catch-up strategy, and there are plenty of examples of other multi-nationals in emerging markets playing the same game – India's Tata Motors asute purchase of Jaguar Land Rover, for example. But, as the FFZero1 demonstrates, there is also something else happening: a leap-frog strategy whereby Chinese firms seeks to exploit new emerging technologies to gain an edge on Western competitors in fields that are still wide open. BYD Autos's Denza car, built through a collaboration with Germany's Daimler AG, is an electric vehicle that competes on price and performance with anything currently on the market. Hail a cab in Brussels and – ironically, given the EU's efforts to promote alternative fuels – if the car is electric, it's probably a Denza. This is due in part to a conscious effort from the government in Beijing. The 2012 Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan seeks to reduce energy dependency on Middle East states, tackle the air pollution problem, grow the Chinese car market and build a technological lead. Yet this spate of investment in electric supercars is arguably more a product of global connections and globally-minded individuals. Alan Lam, former Executive Director of Lotus Cars, revived the Detroit Electric brand by bringing together access to US markets and technology, UK design expertise, and Chinese investment. Billionaire investor Jia Yueting has sought to challenge (and emulate?) Tesla Motor's CEO Elon Musk by backing Faraday Future's prestigious, and at this stage concept-only, sportscar. Faraday Future brings much-coveted US expertise in energy storage, autonomous car intelligence and connectivity, but is aimed squarely at China as one of the key target markets. Are we witnessing a land-grab of the future automotive industry? Should we be worried? Certainly the Chinese aren't alone in looking at alternative fuels and new business models – every automotive industry company management team and a good few technology companies have this firmly on their radar. We've also been here before: waves of US and Japanese firms have in the past embarked on shopping sprees as the firms go global and internationalise their markets. Now Chinese, and Indian, firms are doing the same. Yet China is different, with Chinese firms demonstrating a huge appetite for creating global connections with enormous scope for experimentation based on its dizzying number of competing domestic and international brands. To emphasise, it's not just Chinese money that's driving this wave of new ventures, but an awareness of the benefits that can come from harnessing the strengths of the different technology, design, supply chains, and target markets. It's equally refreshing to see how entrepreneurs such as Alan Lam, with his international background, are willing and able to roll the dice and develop new car marques that may succeed or fail in segments traditional car-makers may overlook. How far Faraday Future gets to realising its vision remains to be seen. But it is this combination of new technologies, new players and new attitudes that's driving a wave of fresh initiatives. The good news is, with the right connections, there are opportunities for everyone.
News Article | November 9, 2015
As we reported recently, the first electric car recently rolled off the production lines at Detroit Electric’s manufacturing facility in the UK, bringing the anticipated electric sports car one step closer to wide release. As many have no doubt predicted — following the company’s scrapping of plans for production in the car manufacturing hub of Detroit, Michigan… from which Detroit Electric gets its name — it seems that the company may well end up not releasing the new electric vehicle (EV) in the US at all…. The name appears to (possibly) just be a means of selling Americana to Europeans (as with cowboys, country/honky tonk, blues music, jazz, etc). Even though the first SP:01 has rolled off the line and been sent on its way to an unidentified buyer in an unidentified location, the company (which is headquartered in The Netherlands, by the way) has yet to announce the car’s retail price. One thing is certain, though: the figure won’t be in American dollars. Despite its name, a nod to a defunct US-based maker of electric carriages from 1907 to 1938, the Detroit Electric sports car won’t be available in Detroit — or anywhere else in America. The company plans to sell the SP:01 only in Europe, Asia and few other select markets, including Iceland and South Africa. Detroit Electric’s CEO, Albert Lam, who announced the SP:01 with stars-and-stripes-waving enthusiasm back in 2013, doesn’t take the company’s geographic incongruity lightly. “We are Detroit Electric, not London Electric,” said Lam, former CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group. “Our commitment to the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and the United States is as strong as it ever was.” But as the saying goes, love is a verb, and whether Lam can turn affectionate words into action remains to be seen. The company has promised that if things go well for its UK-built sports car, it will open a production facility in its namesake city to build a clean-sheet electric sedan. You can count me as skeptical that the Detroit Electric SP:01 will ever actually be available for general purchase in Detroit. Oh well, at least we still have Tesla to showcase the (seemingly asleep) “American entrepreneurial spirit.” And, yes, I’m aware that CEO Elon Musk is South African. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter. James Ayre 's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.
Detroit Electric | Date: 2015-03-31
A power switching unit for use with a power grid, a home power network, and a vehicle power network. A first power port is connectable to the power grid to receive power therefrom, a second power port is connectable to the vehicle power network, and a third power port is connectable with the home power network. A switch is in electrical communication with the first, second and third power ports, with the switch being transitional between first and second positions. In the first position, the switch places the first power port in electrical communication with the second and third power ports to enable the power grid to provide power to the vehicle power network and the home power network. In the second position, the switch places the second power port in electrical communication with the third power port, allowing the vehicle to provide power to the house power port.
News Article | January 6, 2016
Jay Leno appears to spend most of his free time tinkering with various cars, including electric ones. One of his recent projects has been the restoration and modding (or as he calls it, "restomodding") of a 1914 Detroit Electric EV. It was made by the Anderson Electric Car Company in Detroit, Michigan, back in the days when EVs had significant market share. "Production of the electric automobile, powered by a rechargeable lead acid battery, began in 1907. For an additional US$600, an Edison nickel-iron battery was available from 1911 to 1916. The cars were advertised as reliably getting 80 miles (130 km) between battery recharging, although in one test a Detroit Electric ran 211.3 miles (340.1 km) on a single charge. Top speed was only about 20 mph (32 km/h), but this was considered adequate for driving within city or town limits at the time." (source) Before you wonder why modern electric cars don't get much better range than a hundred years ago, you have to remember that this was basically a wood box with wheels and doesn't compare to modern cars when it comes to safety, comfort, or performance. But still, Detroit Electric did an impressive job, and these things certainly had style! There's an interesting philosophical aspect to Leno's restoration project: Much of the parts of the car were badly damaged, including pretty much all of the wood parts, and had to be replaced. It's a bit like the tale of the old ax that had the handle and the blade replaced a few times. Is it still the same ax? I think so. What matters is the pattern. To get more biological about it, the cells in our bodies don't live as long as we do, and so are all replaced over time. Yet we are still the same people. Anyway, here's Jay. The first segment is about the Detroit Electric, the rest is about other of his projects: Above is a Detroit Electric charging in 1919, and below is a 1916 model. Here's a Detroit Electric in action. It's so quiet, you can clearly hear the birds as it rolls away: Here's another one driving down the street:
News Article | April 4, 2013
Nearly 100 years ago, the Anderson Carriage Company produced and sold one of the most popular electric vehicles of the time: The Detroit Electric. With production peaking at 1,000-2,000 cars in 1910, the company eventually renamed itself after its popular model and sold nearly 13,000 electric vehicles during its 32 years of production. The company never recovered from depression, producing its last EV in 1939. Detroit Electric is back. Meet the first car to wear the historic nameplate in over 70 years: The SP:01. The brand was revived in 2008 by Albert Lam, former Group CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group and Executive Director of Lotus Cars of England. Now headquartered in Detroit’s historic Fisher building, the company is set to restart Detroit Electric starting with the SP:01 electric sports car. The SP:01 is just the first from the Detroit startup. More family friendly vehicles are in the works, with two new models in the pipeline for 2014. The company is also setting up its production shop somewhere in the Detroit area where it expects to have a yearly production capacity of 2,500 vehicles. This facility will create 180 new jobs. Detroit Electric only plans on making 999 examples of the SP:01. That’s well under the 2,400 Tesla Roadsters produced during its four-year run. With a starting price of $135,000, the SP:01 also has a starting cost higher than the Roadster. But at least it’s just as fast. Detroit Electric claims the SP:01 is the fastest pure-electric production car on the market. And that’s true since the Roadster is no longer available. It’s claimed, although yet verified, performance numbers puts the SP:01 on the same level as the limited edition Tesla Roadster Sport. Plus, with a claimed top speed of 155 mph and 0-62 mph time of 3.7 seconds, it’s quicker than just about every other car out of Detroit including the new Corvette Stingray. Propulsion is provided by an air-cooled, asynchronous AC motor powered by dual 37-kWh lithium-polymer batteries. The system is good for 201 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque — not bad for a car that weighs just 2,403 pounds. Strangely enough, unlike the dead-simple Tesla Roadster, the SP:01 features a four-speed manual transmission or an optional two-speed automatic. Since the electric engine is either on or off, there is no need to use the clutch when stopping or starting. Detroit Electric claims the SP:01 has a driving range of 180 miles based on the New European Driving Cycle, but as Autoblog notes, while the official calculations haven’t been released, that likely results in about 150 miles on a U.S. cycle. It’s no secret that the carbon-fiber shell comes from a Lotus Exige. Interestingly enough, the Tesla Roadster is based largely on the Lotus Elise platform. Per Detroit Electric’s press release, it takes 4.3 hours to fully charge the SP:01 from a 240 volt outlet with 32 amps. It takes 8 hours on a 13-amp sources. But like the Chevy Volt, the SP:01 can output its electrical charge, serving as a sort of $135k electric generator in a pinch. Here’s hoping that Detroit Electric finds the same level of success as its forebearer. The EV market is wide open for new players. Tesla, while Detroit Electric’s main competition, has a large head start but by no means a monopoly. Fisker is dead in the water, GM and Toyota are pursuing hybrids, and Nissan is seemingly content selling low-end electric vehicles. The SP:01 will hit the production lines this August. The price starts at $135,000.
News Article | April 3, 2013
Little-known -- but storied-brand -- Detroit Electric has launched its electric alternative to the Tesla. The SP:01 is a limited-edition, two-seat pure-electric sports car, according to the company's announcement today. With its Lotus Elise-like design, the SP:01 boasts a top speed of 155 mph and goes from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds. Other marquee features of the SP:01: The SP:01 sports car will "spearhead a diverse family of all-electric production cars," including two other high-performance models that are scheduled to enter production by end of 2014, the company said. The Detroit Electric brand was founded in 1907 when the electric car industry, strangely enough, was probably more vibrant than it is today. The brand was resurrected in 2008 by Albert Lam, who was formerly Group chief executive of the Lotus Engineering Group and is now Detroit Electric's chairman and Group CEO.
News Article | March 20, 2013
Storied-brand Detroit Electric is teasing an electric vehicle that will take on the Tesla. "After an absence of over 70 years, Detroit Electric...has returned to the legendary Motor City, promising job creation and a range of exciting 100% electric vehicles for the mass market," the company said in a press release. The first model will be "a limited-edition two-seat sports car," the company said. And it will be assembled in Michigan with production to start in August. "We are proud to become the fourth car manufacturer born out of Detroit," according to the statement. The vehicle hints of a design like the Lotus Elise-based Tesla Roadster. Which shouldn't be surprising, as the Detroit Electric brand was resurrected in 2008 by Albert Lam, who was formerly Group chief executive of the Lotus Engineering Group and is now Detroit Electric's chairman and Group CEO. The brand has a storied past. Detroit Electric was founded in 1907 and, ironically, the electric car industry was probably more vibrant then than it is today. "Early in the last century the electric vehicle industry was flourishing in Detroit...Detroit Electric was...selling more electric vehicles than any other company," according to the company. Detroit Electric made about 13,000 electric cars, which it describes an "electric vehicle production world record for the twentieth century." Notable customers at that time included Thomas Edison, Mamie Eisenhower, John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Clara Ford, the wife of Henry Ford. But don't expect to be able to run out a buy one unless you have well over a hundred thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket. The car is expected to retail for about $135,000, according to reports, with 2,500 slated for annual production.
News Article | April 4, 2013
With Tesla's Roadster production having drawn to a close at the end of 2011, another electric vehicle startup is picking up where it left off, announcing a different Lotus-based sports car that can do 0–60mph in the same 3.7 seconds. The company is Detroit Electric, a name under which 13,000 or so electric vehicles were sold in the early 1900s. But this time around, the team running the show is targeting the discriminating buyer, outfitting the SP:01 with a custom carbon fiber body and a $135,000 price tag. That team also happens to be headed by former Lotus Engineering Group CEO Albert Lam, which explains the reason for using the company's Exige as the car's starting point. Should get between 150 and 180 miles on a single charge Autoblog reports that the 2,403-pound machine can reach a top speed of 155mph and should get between 150 and 180 miles on a single charge, which is noticeably lower than a lot of the competition. When its dual 37kWh lithium-polymer batteries run out of juice, you’ll be able to get back to a full charge in about eight hours, or a little over four if you’re connected to a higher-powered 240-volt 32-amp charger. You’ll also be able to use that energy to light your house, using an optional home-charging unit, if you’re ever hit with a power outage. And of course, the car will come with its own integrated smartphone system, which will let users control everything from navigation and the music player to lighting, heating, and regenerative braking. Unlike Tesla’s Roadster, the rear-wheel-drive SP:01 eschews a single-speed automatic transmission for a four-speed manual, but Detroit Electric also says that you won’t need to use the clutch either when you’re starting from a standstill or when coming to a stop. You can also opt for a two-speed automatic if you’d prefer that for some reason. The initial SP:01 production run is going to be starting in August, and will be limited to 999 cars, but there’s more on the horizon for Detroit Electric. The company says it has an annual capacity of 2,500 cars, and is aiming to have a sub-$50,000 family sedan in production by the end fo next year.
News Article | March 19, 2013
Detroit Electric is back. Again. For real this time. And the reborn automaker will debut an all-new, all-electric sports car next month, with plans to expand the brand over the next two years. If you’re catching a twinge of skepticism about Detroit Electric’s chances, you’re not off-base. The automaker was reanimated in 2008 by ZAP and Albert Lam, former CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group and Executive Director of Lotus Cars of England, as well as the Managing Director of Apple’s Asia operations. The original plan was to produce an EV based on a Malaysian-based Proton sedan and retrofit a Lotus Elise with an electric drivetrain, similar to what Tesla did with the Roadster. Then … nothing. Today that silence was broken with the announcement that Detroit Electric is setting up shop in downtown Detroit’s Fisher Building, scouting a nearby production center and promising to bring over 180 jobs to Michigan in the next year. “We are proud to become the fourth car manufacturer born out of Detroit, and the first to manufacture a pure electric sports car from Michigan,” said Don Graunstadt, the company’s CEO of North America Operations. The plan is to release an electric sports car – again, likely based on the Lotus Elise – that showcases the company’s powertrain technology, with production set to begin in August after the official debut at the Shanghai Motor Show. That’s ambitious enough, particularly considering the new Elise isn’t federalized for U.S. sales due to airbag requirements, but Detroit Electric isn’t stopping there. The announcement also includes plans for “a diverse family of all-electric production cars, including two other high-performance models that will enter production by end of 2014” and a partnership with a yet-to-be-named global automaker later this year. But what’s missing is any mention of specifics. Detroit Electric isn’t talking about range, battery technology, powertrain architecture or funding. So until then, we’ll remain suitably skeptical about Detroit Electric’s aspirations.