Chinese Geely Automobile Group and American Detroit Electric Inc. have announced at the Shanghai Motor Show that the two companies have entered into a strategic partnership to co-develop pure electric vehicles and related electric drive systems for the Chinese market.

The first model of pure electric vehicles is expected to go on sale under Geely’s Emgrand brand starting in 2014.

After an initial three years of feasibility studies and a joint development program, the two companies have selected Geely’s Emgrand EC7 model in the domestic Chinese market as the base vehicle on which to develop their pure electric vehicle.

Geely_Detroit_Badge-668The EC7-based EV, to be called the EC7-EV, will be co-branded with a ‘Detroit Electric – Technology’ badge and sales are expected to start in the first quarter of 2014.

Both companies said the vehicle will initially be sold primarily to business users and public-sector organizations, and the two companies are forecasting sales of around 3,000 units in the first 12 months, growing to 30,000 in three years’ time.

A joint development and engineering team has been formed to cover all areas of the EV powertrain solution, including electric motor, vehicle management system, advanced thermo-managed battery pack, battery management system and a twin-speed high-torque gearbox.

The partnership also extends to the formulation of a joint venture company to manufacture the EV powertrain components and associated parts, situated close to Geely’s headquarters in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province.

Geely also operates six car assembly and powertrain manufacturing plants across China.

The new EC7-EV model will offer both medium-range (with a driving range of 105 miles per charge) and long-range options (an approximate range of 160 miles per charge).

The vehicle is said to accelerate to 60 mph under eight seconds and reach a top speed exceeding 124 mph.

“This is a very significant step in the development of the Detroit Electric business and is testimony to our innovative technology and engineering capabilities,” comments Albert Lam, Chairman and Group CEO of Detroit Electric.  “Detroit Electric will jointly develop the EC7-EV, covering all aspects of the powertrain and chassis, safety, vehicle dynamics, system integration, NVH and other items. We have been working alongside Geely for some time to optimise the EV drive technologies for integration into the vehicles and this partnership will now fast-track both Geely and Detroit Electric to realizing the great EV market potential in the Chinese market. I am confident that we can become a leader of pure electric vehicles in the Chinese market within the next 18 months.  I am sure it is going to be a world class product.”

Earlier this month Detroit Electric unveiled its first production vehicle, the SP:01. The SP:01 also makes its public debut at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show.