World's fastest electric car, the Detroit Electric SP:01, unveiled in Shanghai


April 20, 2013

The Detroit Electric SP:01, publicly unveiled for the first time at  the Shanghai Auto Show (Photo: Gizmag)

The Detroit Electric SP:01, publicly unveiled for the first time at the Shanghai Auto Show (Photo: Gizmag)

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Detroit Electric clearly isn't coy when it comes to its SP:01, the world's fastest production electric car, publicly revealed for the first time at the Shanghai Auto Show today. The company made no attempt to cover up its high-performance EV ahead of its press conference, and our man on the ground didn't hesitate in wiring these pictures in to Fortress Gizmag. The SP:01 tops out at 249 km/h (155 mph) and can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill in a fleet 3.7 seconds.

The company attributes the car's performance to its power-to-weight ratio: A 201-bhp (150-kW) motor delivers 166 lb.ft (225 Nm) of torque to move the SP:01's trim 2,354 lb (1,068 kg). Detroit Electric has managed to keep the weight down by paying special attention to the battery pack, and using carbon fiber for the F1-like bodywork and aluminum for the platform.

With tuned suspension, steering and brakes, the company claims the package offers "class-leading" handling and ride.

The car's electric motor allows drivers to accelerate without need of manic gear-shifting, though four gear ratios are offered for those seeking to eke out every drop of performance.

Detroit Electric claims that the battery's 37 kWh of storage is good for 190 miles on a single charge. The special home-charging kit will fully charge an empty battery in about 4 hours 20 minutes. The company claims that basically the same battery has seen use in helicopters and submarines. The battery life is assisted by a regenerative system that recovers kinetic energy under braking.

The SP:01 comes equipped with a smartphone-controlled information and entertainment system, dubbed SAMI (short for Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment). SAMI includes a music player, sat-nav, interior lighting and climate controls as well as a vehicle status display, keeping the driver informed of battery charge and range. These can be accessed remotely as well as from behind the dash.

After 5 years of development and testing. The limited-edition two-seater hit the market earlier this month, and Detroit Electric reports 35 were snapped up in the first hour. The car represents something of a resurgence in the Detroit Electric brand (which had gone unused since 1939). Two more high-performance Detroit Electric EVs are scheduled to commence production before the end of next year.

Detroit Electric's is saying the SP:01 is available from 1,250,000 RMB. That translates to about US$200,000, significantly more than the $135,000 we previously reported. We'll attempt to get to the bottom of this apparent discrepancy.

Product page: Detroit Electric


Wonderful technology for the wealthy.

Mark A

As amazing and futuristic the Detroit electric is, it is NOT the fastest electric car in the world. The Rimac Concept_One goes 305 km/h (189 mph) and can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.8 seconds.

Ben Shaw

I think this is just another Lotus Elise with an electric motor jamed in to it. Tesla motors has been doing this for years only about a $150,000 to much Thats a lot of money for a battery and electric motor


Although I am really impressed with the performance because the 150kW motor has 6 speed transmission, and because of that design will in most cases outperform TESLA Roadster with a 210kW motor reduced single speed. It no way justifies the cost of $ 200K.

Mark Yormark

This is a higher-priced lower-spec'd mimicry (intellectual property theft hello!) of the Tesla Roadster, which has a 56 kwh battery pack and a 244 mile range in addition to the 3.7 sec 0-60, and a base price of $109K.

Nehemiah Spencer

Oh, right. Like that's what we need - another hopelessly impractical 2 seater EV. Oh, yes, and one you have to spend 4 hours waiting for it to charge so you can continue your long trip. For $200k I would expect a fast charge option - what a complete joke.

Martin Winlow

Larger pan Eurasian market seeking slower cheaper 'Poor Peoples' transportation? America still with its head in the stars thinks a China man with low wages cares about 0 to 60 times?

Bruce Miller
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