Sure, sure, the deal is just a memorandum of understanding with the Korean energy company Integrated Energy, but – once again – the plans are ambitious. Detroit Electric and Integrated Energy not only want to sell 300 "high performance EVs" in the first quarter of 2015 but also test out a new V2X program on the island. The X there stands for either "grid," "home" or "vehicle." The idea is to test out how Detroit Electric and Integrated Energy can reuse the batteries from old EVs. Given the state of SP:01 sales, we consider this yet another long-reaching dream, but if it works, then the two companies might deploy the V2X system in other parts of Korea. For now, Jeju Island is a good place to test it out, since the island wants to have zero car emissions starting no later than 2020.
The press release announcing the MOU doesn't specify that the 300 EVs that Integrated Energy will buy are all the SP:01 model. Since that car was designed from the beginning to have a bi-directional charge and discharge mode, something Detroit Electric calls 360-Powerback, and because Detroit Electric hasn't announced any other models, it's not likely to be something else. The Jeju Island installation will be the first major test of the 360 Powerback technology.
Detroit Electric begins process of appointing Integrated Energy as its dealer in Jeju Island, South Korea
Integrated Energy to place initial order of 300 vehicles for sales starting in 1st quarter of 2015
Integrated Energy and Detroit Electric join forces to implement V2X pilot program in Jeju Island with future deployment to other regions of Korea
Integrated Energy and Detroit Electric to explore second life battery, redeployment of used vehicle battery opportunities in Korea
Integrated Energy, a Korea-based company listed on the Korean Stock Exchange (023430.KQ) mainly engaged in the energy and eco-business sectors, and Detroit Electric, a leading electric vehicle manufacturer, today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Integrated Energy to conduct retail sales of Detroit Electric pure electric vehicles, and to implement a joint V2X project which will include a pilot program in South Korea.
The MOU was signed by Billy So, the Chairman of Integrated Energy Ltd, and Albert Lam, the Chairman and Group CEO of Detroit Electric Holdings Ltd.
The MOU establishes a process for appointing Integrated Energy to be the dealer of Detroit Electric products in Jeju Island, South Korea. Sales are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2015, and Integrated Energy will place an initial order of 300 vehicles at the signing of the dealer agreement.
Jeju Island, equipped with the most comprehensive electric vehicle charging infrastructure in South Korea, has set its sights on becoming a zero car emissions zone by 2020.
Integrated Energy and Detroit Electric also announced that both companies will joint forces to implement a V2X pilot programme, including a demonstration site in Jeju Island to realize V2X technology, covering vehicle to grid, vehicle to home and vehicle to vehicle, in daily operations of a fleet of electric vehicles supplied by Detroit Electric.
The electric vehicles, developed and manufactured by Detroit Electric, will be equipped with bi-directional charge and discharge features made possible through the patented Detroit Electric home charging and power back-up unit – named '360-POWERBACK' – which turns the vehicle into a power source for both the grid and the home.
Integrated Energy and Detroit Electric foresee the potential to further deploy this V2X technology to other regions in South Korea, after a successful implementation of the initial V2X pilot programme.
To further extend the cooperation between the two companies into energy businesses, Detroit Electric will collaborate with Integrated Energy, as agreed in the MOU, to explore second life battery, redeployment of used vehicle batteries as energy storage business opportunities in Korea. Both companies share the same vision that second life EV batteries can play a pivotal role in energy storage for renewable power supply and this would eventually reduce the total cost of ownership of an electric vehicle.
"This is a strategic step in the development of Detroit Electric business in the global market and we are delighted to partner with Integrated Energy to deliver our high performance vehicle and services to Korean customers," commented Albert Lam, Chairman and Group CEO of Detroit Electric, "With the vision beyond the EV business, the joint V2X pilot project in Jeju Island with Integrated Energy will certainly be a showcase of our innovative technology and sustainable business model."
"It's our bi-directional charge and discharge technology and Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment system - 'SAMI' – that will revolutionize the way we use electric cars," he added, "Soon customers will be able to earn money from stored energy in their car's battery, power their home or business, and even charge other EVs. These are important issues that need to be addressed for the future of battery recycling and energy storage demanded by the renewable energy industry," said Mr Lam.
Billy So, the Chairman of Integrated Energy stated, "We entered this collaboration with a view to deliver value and high technology to our Korean customers using world-class electric vehicles from Detroit Electric. With our commitment to promote sustainable energy and sustainable mobility technology, the V2X initiative in Jeju Island and the further deployment of this technology in Korea will offer solutions to optimize energy usage. By partnering with Detroit Electric, we are looking forward to moving to the next step to conduct some trial projects and to develop business models for second life battery and the recycling business in
Korea. By this shared view, we predict this new industry sector possesses the potential to profoundly change ESS (energy storage system) business landscape for the better."
About Detroit Electric
Detroit Electric is an iconic brand in the electric vehicle sector. The company began life in 1906 and soon established itself as the market leader and most prolific manufacturer of electric cars. The brand was revived in 2008 by Albert Lam, former Group CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group and Executive Director of Lotus Cars of England, with a vision to produce an electric vehicle that seamlessly integrates refined aesthetics, innovative technology, superior handling and performance.
The company's first production car, the SP:01 goes on sale in Asia, Europe and the USA, starting in early 2015. All the cars will be manufactured in a new, dedicated Detroit Electric production facility in Leamington Spa, UK.
The company has its global headquarters on the 18th floor of the iconic Fisher Building, located in downtown Detroit, USA. This facility will be the company's financial headquarters and will be the centre for overseeing activities in North America.
Detroit Electric has also invested in a new EMEA headquarters, located in Houten, Netherlands, where the company has already recruited a new team to manage the brand's Sales and Marketing activities including vehicle sales, customer service and marketing.
To safeguard its sustainable growth, Detroit Electric employs an 'asset light' business model, similar to brands such as Apple and Nike, focusing investment on R&D and marketing. Lam, brings to Detroit Electric various operational disciplines from his time heading up technology and innovation-driven businesses in Asia, including Apple and Sun Microsystems.