Mention Detroit Electric and prepare to dust off your memories because, like Rip Van Winkle of old, it just woke up after better than seventy years.
Between 1907 and 1939, Detroit Electric built over 10,000 electric vehicles, and then took a nap. Do electric car companies dream? If they do, do they dream of superchargers? We’re not sure, but Detroit Electric has had 75 years to dream. It even woke up, if only for a peek at the world outside, in 2008, and seemed to be on the verge of something in China. Detroit Electric promptly fell asleep again, probably to wait for the electric vehicle market to do something. Here we are again, and in a press release dated yesterday, Detroit Electric announced a new office in Detroit.
The first project for Detroit Electric, to convince us that we’re not dreaming, is to reveal a Lotus Elise with a completely electric drivetrain. This sounds awfully familiar, but we’ll wait for the full reveal and then see what the public thinks of another electric Lotus Elise. The performance vehicle will be revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show April 20th. Production will be around 2,500 vehicles per year and could bring 180 jobs back to Detroit. Future vehicles will include a full lineup of pure electric vehicles, but there are zero words on battery or motor technology, so we’ll just have to wait till next month to see if Detroit Electric is awake for good.