UPDATE: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that this was the first time Detroit Electric had announced plans to build cars in Holland. This plan was first announced last August.
Detroit Electric has dropped plans to build its Lotus-based SP:01 electric sports car in The Motor City. In fact, it's not even being built in the North America. Instead, the company claims production is starting in Holland later this year. So much for being a Detroit Electric, eh?
"Production of Detroit Electric vehicles in Europe, along with Detroit, was always part of the plan," said Peter Rawlinson, a spokesperson for Detroit Electric, to Autoblog in an emailed statement. Neither the car's original announcement nor its partnership with Geely make any mention of European production. The announcement of foreign production was first made last August. Rawlinson said that the exact production location would be announced in the coming weeks, and assembly would "start in the middle of this calendar year."
Detroit Electric had originally planned to build the SP:01 off the Lotus Exige platform at a factory in Plymouth, Michigan. Assembly was scheduled to begin in August 2013 with an annual capacity of 2,500 cars. However, negotiations with the plant fell through, and the company began looking for a new location. It had promised the SP:01 would offer 201 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque with energy provided by two 37-kilowatt-hour lithium-polymer batteries, and it would be priced at around $135,000.
The company is leaving a sliver of a chance of still building cars in Motown. "Detroit Electric has chosen to save its US resources for an upcoming new model – a sedan – to be engineered, developed and assembled in Detroit," said Rawlinson. For a business that has promised so much and delivered relatively little so far, these are big claims to make.