Detroit Electric sells first SP:01 to Chinese distributor

Sports EV manufacturer sets its sights on Japan next.

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Detroit Electric has ridden a rocky road since the brand was revived in 2008. Things went quiet for a while after 2009, until Detroit Electric resurfaced in 2013 with a Lotus-based EV called the SP:01. Since then, production has been delayed (and delayed again), then moved to Holland before proof of its progress arrived in the form of photos of the SP:01 undergoing testing in 2014. Finally, late last year saw the first production car roll off the line in England of all places. Now, in spite of significant (yet not unreasonable) skepticism, Detroit Electric has delivered its first SP:01 to Jowett Motors in China.

As its first customer, Jowett Motors Chairman Dr. Richard Lee will use the white SP:01 as a demonstrator vehicle for potential customers in China. Jowett has assumed the role of the electric automaker's Chinese importer, and Detroit Electric also hopes to name a distributor for Japan in the very near future. While many of us who have been watching the company's mercurial comeback will continue to do so with measured hopefulness, Detroit Electric Chairman and CEO Albert Lam is a bit more optimistic. "We are extremely proud to team up with Jowett Motors, a company that has an exceptional track record in the establishment and selling of exclusive, high performance sports cars in the Chinese market," he said.

The SP:01 offers up to 286 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque in a car that weighs 2,590 pounds. It can do 0-60 in a claimed 3.7 seconds and offers 179 miles of driving range. Its "military grade" 37-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is supposedly the most energy dense car battery in the world. If you're excited about the brand, but aren't keen on the Lotus-based SP:01, Detroit Electric says it plans to launch two other high-performance models in the near future. Should be interesting.

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