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 rb.no 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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