Detroit Electric to manufacture eSUVs in Wuxi

Detroit Electric's first model, the UK-built SP01
Detroit Electric's first model, the UK-built SP:01

Detroit Electric’s first model, the UK-built SP:01

EV-maker Detroit Electric has signed a three-way deal with a Wuxi-prefecture science park and Hong Kong-listed China Smarter Energy Group to manufacture electric SUVs in China.

The cars will be manufactured in the Yixing Environmental Science and Technology Park (ES&TP), located in Yixing City, a county-level city under Wuxi authority. ES&TP was established in 1992 by the State Council as a home for the developing environmental protection industry.

Investment in the new company totals US$1.8 billion, with $600 million registered capital, of which $300 million is invested by Detroit Electric, $240 million by CSE and $10 million by ES&TP, according to Forbes.

Yixing City environmental science park

Yixing City environmental science park

According to ES&TP, the new venture will have an annual capacity of 100,000 cars, and will be operational by 2020.

Detroit Electric’s first model, the SP:01, rolled off the assembly line in Leamington Spa, UK, in October 2015. Just as Tesla’s Roadster, the SP:01 is based on the Lotus Elise, and claims to be the lightest and fastest two-seat pure-electric sports car in the world.

Detroit Electric led the fledgling electric car market as far back as 1907. By 1912, according to the comapny, there were numerous American electric vehicle makers, with Detroit Electric both the market leader and the most prolific, going on to make around 13,000 cars – an electric vehicle production world record for the twentieth century. Notable customers included Thomas Edison, Mamie Eisenhower, John D. Rockerfeller Jr. and Clara Ford, the wife of Henry Ford.

The brand was revived in 2008 by Albert Lam, Chairman and CEO of Detroit Electric, 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 and superior handling and performance.



About James Ockenden (300 Articles)
Writer, journalist and sustainability consultant with a passion for clean technology and public health. 25 years covering power and energy markets: former editor of Power Plant Technology, International Power Generation, Asian Electricity, Aircraft Economics, Energy Risk, Asia Risk, Benchmark; writer for South China Morning Post, Cathay Dragon's Silkroad, APlus, Veolia's "Planet", Hong Kong Tatler; founder of Blue Skies China. MSocSc in Corporate Environmental Governance, University of Hong Kong; BA & MA degree in Natural Sciences (major in Materials Science & Metallurgy), Cambridge University.
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