Detroit Electric SP:01 Nearing Production

The effort first publicized last April to resurrect the Detroit Electric nameplate is still underway and its promoters say their SP:01 is nearing production.

If you recall, this exclusive sports car will be a lightweight sub-2,400 pounds, built with carbon-fiber and other advanced materials.

Zero-to-60 mph takes around 3.7 seconds, top speed is 155 mph, and promised also are excellent handling dynamics.

It also will have vehicle-to-grid capabilities, and appears to be a hands-on effort from a dedicated team.

Based on the Lotus Elise chassis, the SP:01 is more reminiscent of a 21st century Tesla Roadster than any early 20th century EV and is slated to be built in Holland, not Detroit for now.

The company has previously said its base price is $135,000, and only 999 units will be produced.

Last June it said it would be delayed by just one month, but as these things sometimes have a way of doing, the startup is still working out the details.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Detroit Electric takes its name rights from the once-respected Detroit Electric brand, founded in 1907, and shut down in 1939.

It is the result of a team assembled by former Lotus Engineering Group CEO and executive director of Lotus Cars of England, Albert Lam.


The notion of taking a once-famous brand name, purchasing all rights to call it one’s one, and presenting itself as an unshuttering of a long-dormant factory is not new.

The company’s marketing verbiage fully assumes the role saying “we’re back,” and speaking of “our founder,” and so forth.

Similar attempts for this marketing formula have been seen with Indian Motocycles which boasts a heritage enshrined in history books, and Chris Craft Boats, another legendary name that lost luster before being re-polished.

The original Detroit Electrics looked nothing like trendy sports cars, but were renowned in their heyday. The revived name, Lotus-based, European-built, American brand SP:01 is said to have battery range of 139-188 miles, and possibly a bit more.


In 1914 an original Detroit Electric car traveled a record 241 miles on a single charge – albeit its top speed was a mere 25 mph. Even so, that was not bad given rough road conditions which added friction, and antiquated everything else.

The new Detroit Electric car has little in common except the name and it’s electric. It appears to be painstakingly engineered, and with top-quality materials, so it promises to be a unique car in its own right priced on par with other exclusive cars.

More news is due in coming weeks, says Detroit Electric, which you can learn more about on its Web site.

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