Tan Drives Detroit Electric's Kuala Lumpur EV Elise

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
tan drives detroit electric s kuala lumpur ev elise

The storied Detroit Electric (DE) marque is a Dutch company nowadays, zombified to provide a palatable brand name for Zap’s spurious Alias and buses (built by China Youngman Group). Earth2Tech reports that neither Zap nor Youngman came through with their promised $100m joint investment, nor the $5m consoloation investment they offered later. “Most of it had to do with they wanted to do buses first and we wanted to do cars first,” claims Zap CEO Steve Schneider, invoking long-cliched “creative differences.” So Owner/CEO and former CEO of Lotus Engineering Dan Lam shook off the losers and found new investors. Though none of the $300m in sum Dutch, American and Malaysian investors were named, Proton’s in. Paul Tan got to check out DE’s three new whips at the irony-free Detroit Electric launch in Kuala Lumpur, and they’re all based on Proton models. The good news: the EV Elise’s 4.3 second 0-60 time, 6.5-hour charge time and 200-mile range prove that Tesla didn’t exactly reinvent the EV Elise. (Especially considering DE have somehow managed to get a manual transmission to work in theirs.) DE wants to get cars on the road within 18 months; the Malaysian government is reportedly rolling out the pork carpet. We shall see.

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  • Dutchchris Dutchchris on Sep 04, 2008

    It's not surprising that the joint venture with Zap didn't work out because Zap's business is not the production of EV's but rather of press releases about fabulous game changing EV's (like the much hyped Zap X)that never materialise but only serve to boost the value of Zap's board of directors stock options. read it all here: http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine/16-04/ff_zapped?currentPage=1 DE isn't actually a Dutch company, but it has some kind of partnership with a rather obscure Dutch company called ECE (Electric Cars Europe)apparently for it's expertise in electric drivetrains. If you can read Dutch, this is ECE's extremely uninformative website:http://www.ececars.nl/