Detroit Electric will be the first all-electric car company to make its headquarters in Detroit – at least in modern times. While the company and concept of the car is brand new, the name goes back about 100 years when Detroit Electric was the leader in electric vehicles made in the 'Motor City'.
The early days of the electric car dates back well over 100 years when numerous inventors were experimenting with horseless carriages. While we all know Detroit as ‘Motor City’, historians also say that the town was the epicenter of the first EVs built in America.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the electric vehicle industry was doing moderately well before they lost out to the readily available and inexpensive petroleum that powered all internal combustion engines. One of those companies was called Detroit Electric, and they were leading the way with the most cars produced and sold nearly 14,000 cars before they shut down.
(1922 Detroit Electric)
Detroit Electric was simply well ahead of its time, but like the fabled phoenix rising from its ashes, Detroit Electric's name returned to life in 2008 all thanks to the dreams of Albert Lam who once served as the CEO of Lotus Engineering.
The company just recently put up an outline of the EV coupe on their website displaying its curves and lines but not enough to give the car away. Based on what we can see from the teaser, it appears to be directly targeted at Tesla's sports coupe. Furthermore, some rumors are saying that the car may be priced under $30,000 (U.S.), which would be a major hit on Tesla's American sales.
Lam has placed DE's headquarters in Detroit’s old Fisher Building, and he says they will be hiring about 200 people before production begins in August of this year. They will purportedly build approximately 2,500 two-seater sport coupes for their first run with plans on building other models soon after.
It took the company around five years of research and development before they were able to finalize the design on the car. It will be officially unveiled in Detroit sometime in early April 2013 and just ahead of the worldwide unveiling to take place at the Shanghai Motor Show on April 20,2013.
The company's website also hints that they will be joining forces with another major maker as well – the website reads in part, “The show will also provide the platform for Detroit Electric to share an exciting announcement about a major partnership with a global carmaker. “Full details will be announced on the first press day of the show.”
While there has not been any mention of what kind of design the other models might be, it is only logical they will be in direct competition with the Tesla Model S and possibly a SUV or crossover type model.