Detroit Electric presented its limited edition SP:01 pure-electric sports car in Lviv, Ukraine in October 2016.
It all started back in 1914, when a Detroit Electric went 241 miles on a single charge setting a new record. The car had a top speed of 25 MPH and for these tests the cars were usually driven at about 12 MPH. Still, that was almost 100 years ago and the new electric cars can go maybe 100 miles on a charge, on a good day, downhill, with a little breeze and a nice smooth road. In 1914 they were traveling over a mix of dirt, cobblestone, asphalt or more commonly in Detroit they were driving on wood roads.
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The Detroit Electric SP:01 is a limited-edition, two-seat pure-electric sports car that sets new standards for performance and handling in electric vehicles. Boasting an impressive 155mph, 250km/h top speed and covering the 0-60mph sprint in a blistering 3.7 seconds (0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds*), performance motoring has a new champion.
The rear-wheel-drive SP:01 features a compact, mid-mounted 210kW electric motor, a lightweight, purpose-designed battery pack and carbon fibre bodywork fitted as standard. The SP:01 has an excellent power-to-weight ratio-contributing to its superior performance, driving dynamics and class-leading handling.
Now, this isn't the first electric car based on the Elise; the original Tesla Roadster used the lightweight Lotus as its starting point. And Elon's two-seater, which carried a battery pack comprised of 6,831 lithium-ion cells, was plenty quick; the SP-01 should be at least as fast. It features a carbon fibre composite body over a chassis of bonded aluminium. Fully loaded, it tips the scales at 2,590lbs — about 140lbs less than the old Tesla but a hefty 500lbs more than a petrol-powered Elise. It's nothing that heaps of power can't remedy, though. The car uses a 285-horsepower electric motor to drive the rear wheels, matched to a standard single-speed transmission or an optional two-speed automatic — or, in the top-spec version, a six-speed manual.
Detroit Electric's CEO, Albert Lam came to Lviv personally and took part in the presentation explaining all the pros and insignificant cons of a two-seat pure-electric sports roadster.
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Photo: Detroit Electric's CEO Albert Lam during SP:01 presentation in Lviv
Even though the first SP:01 has rolled off the line, the company (which is headquartered in The Netherlands, by the way) has yet to announce the car's retail price. Despite its name, a nod to a defunct US-based maker of electric carriages from 1907 to 1938, the Detroit Electric sports car won't be available in Detroit — or anywhere else in America. The company plans to sell the SP:01 only in Europe, Asia and few other select markets, including Iceland and South Africa.