Detroit Electric Unveils Lotus-Based SP:01

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Do you remember Detroit Electric? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

Back in the early 1900’s, there was a surprising amount of electric cars being produced. Contrary to popular belief, electric cars are not a new fad. One of the larger electric car manufacturers in the early 1900’s was a company called Detroit Electric, which was rightfully out of Detroit, Michigan. These cars were for those who didn’t want to deal with the dislocated shoulder that could come from the hand-crank of a typical internal combustion engine vehicle. Sales were great for Detroit Electric, selling hundreds of these vehicles each year. Notable people who owned these cars include Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Clara Ford (Wife of Henry Ford) and Mamie Eisenhower. Unfortunately, the company went out of business in 1939 and has been dormant since… until now.

Detroit Electric was revived in 2008 by Albert Lam, the former Group CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group and Executive Director of Lotus Cars of England. Since then, they have been working on creating an electric sports car that will put them back in the game.


That car has been unveiled, the Lotus Elise-based SP:01. Its a rear-wheel drive all-electric sports car that they say is the fastest all-electric vehicle in the world. It features an aluminum chassis and full carbon-composite body. With this lightweight build, the SP:01 weighs in at an incredibly impressive 2,403 lbs.

Powering the car are two 37 kWh lithium-polymer batteries that produce 201 bhp and 166 lb-ft of torque. While those numbers don’t sound impressive, remember how incredibly light this machine is. Detroit Electric also says that their new car will have a range of 180 miles.


Included with the SP:01 are Brembo brakes, bucket seats, a regenerative braking system, and ABS. NOT included with it is power steering and a radio. Detroit Electric claims you can plug in your smartphone and use it as an infotainment system that works like most touchscreen media centers found in modern cars.

Detroit Electric will make 999 examples of these vehicles with a pricetag of $135,000 and will start production in August 2013. The Fisher Building in Detroit, Michigan where these will be produced has the capacity to create 2,500 sports cars annually. They say that they plan on producing a variety of high-performance all-electric vehicles in the coming years.