Geely and Detroit Electric to develop an EV for the Chinese market – on sale next year
By Ben Coxworth
May 14, 2013
Last month, recently-revived American automaker Detroit Electric unveiled its Lotus-bodied SP.01 – it’s said to be the fastest pure-electric car on the market. Although only 999 of the cars will be built, the company did state that other models were in the works for next year. At the recent Shanghai Auto Show, Detroit Electric and China’s Geely Automobile Group (which owns Volvo) announced they they would be teaming up on one of those – the EC7-EV.
The new car will be an all-electric version of Geely’s petrol-burning EC7, which is currently sold under the Emgrand brand name. The two companies will work together to develop all aspects of its chassis and electric powertrain, which will include its electric motor, vehicle management system, thermo-managed battery pack, battery management system and gearbox.
A joint venture company will be formed to manufacture those components, near Geely’s headquarters in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.
The EC7-EV will be available in both medium- and long-range versions. The medium-range model will be able to go up to 165 km (102.5 miles) on one charge, while the long-range car will be able to manage 258 km (160 miles). Both versions will be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under eight seconds, and will have a top speed of over 200 km/h (124 mph).
Detroit Electric claims that the inclusion of its twin-speed high-torque gearbox should allow the car to be particularly energy-efficient.
Plans call for sales to begin in China in the first quarter of 2014, with the first Emgrand EC7-EVs going mainly to business users and public-sector organizations. There is no word on price, or subsequent availability in other markets.