New agreement will see flagship SP:01 electric car produced in UK’s Leamington Spa
Chinese firm Far East Smarter Energy is to invest GBP1.5 billion as part of a deal with automaker Detroit Electric. As part of the capital injection, GBP300 million will be directed towards beginning production of the company’s sporty SP:01 EV in its factory in Leamington Spa, UK.
The vehicle itself follows a remarkably similar blueprint to that of the Tesla Roadster, being essentially and electric conversion of a Lotus Elise. This is achieved through the addition of a 37kWh battery and a 210 kW motor.
However, as Elektrek points out, the reported price tag of around GBP100,000 might buy you a lot more car for your money from other manufacturers. Its battery is capable of around 180 miles of range, but that is based on the more lenient NEDC rating system, and is 40 miles shorter than the 220 miles promised by the original Roadster.
Nevertheless, it will manage 155mph and take you from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, and may yet appeal to the EV or track enthusiast.
Albert Lam, chairman and CEO of Detroit Electric, said: “We have been working exceptionally hard over a long period to establish this joint venture and to secure funding for our ambitious new electric vehicle programme. I am delighted to be able to announce this new joint venture which represents a significant boost to vehicle manufacturing and the EV industry in Europe and an important new step towards bringing our family of EVs to market.”
According to reports, further investment will see Detroit Electric expand its offering to include an original-design SUV sometime in 2018, and another model in 2020, by which point the company wants to sell 100,000 vehicles globally. Reports last year inferred that the company would like to launch a sedan in 2019, but whether this has been pushed back (or scrapped altogether) is not clear.