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.