Detroit Electric Says It Doesn't Want to Copy Tesla, Does Exactly That

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
detroit electric says it doesn t want to copy tesla does exactly that

Detroit Electric, the fledgling electric car maker with the historic American name, wants to follow its limited edition roadster with a mass-production sedan and SUV.

The company recently told a Dutch newspaper that it doesn’t want to be like that other electric car company — you know, the one with the rocket man — despite copying its every move, Elektrek reports.

Since it revived the early 20th century nameplate in 2008, Detroit Electric has faded in and out of the public eye. The company hasn’t issued a press release in two years, its headquarters are located in the Netherlands (though it maintains an office in Detroit), and its SP:01 roadster took forever to produce.

Borrowing a Lotus Elise chassis and bodyshell, the SP:01 began rolling off of the company’s UK production line late last year. The company planned to build 999 units (it isn’t known if Detroit Electric hit that target), but not in the U.S. It’s easy to see why Detroit Electric’s American presence is best described as ghost-like.

That will all change, claims CEO Albert Lam. The former Lotus executive told the Dutch publication that an electric sedan will arrive in 2019, with a platform and body designed and built in-house. That same platform will then underpin a new SUV. Lam wants to achieve annual production volume of 50,000 to 60,000 units per year.

If this game plan sounds eerily similar to that of a company with a name that rhymes with Blesla, it must be a coincidence. Lam told the publication “we’re not trying to follow Tesla.”

The company claims it is setting up a sales and distribution network in EV-friendly countries like Norway, and plans to officially launch the SP:01 later this year. Time will tell if we’ll ever see a Detroit Electric plying the streets of the Motor City.

[Image: Detroit Electric]

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  • Henkdevries Henkdevries on Aug 26, 2016

    Dear author your ignorance is gratifying. "The former Lotus executive told the Dutch publication"

  • on Aug 26, 2016

    If someone would make the same kind of car... Say... A Bentley Continental GT EV... Price it about $500,000... The more the better... Socialites and celebrities would eat the thing up. They all want something hardly anyone can afford. Doesn't have to be all that practical.

  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!
  • Ribbedroof Have one in the shop for minor front collision repairs right now,I've seen more of these in the comments than in the 30 years I've been in collision repair.