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Detroit Electric unveils “world’s fastest” production EV

Fans of electric speed, who were sad to see the Tesla Roadster go out of production, can celebrate today, as Detroit Electric has unveiled the SP:01, a limited-edition, two-seat electric sports car that looks like a worthy successor.

The rear-wheel-drive speedster boasts a maximum velocity of 155 mph, and does 0-62 in 3.7 seconds. It features a mid-mounted 201 bhp motor that delivers 166 lb-ft of torque, and a pair of lithium-polymer batteries with a capacity of 37 kWh. With an aluminum frame and all carbon fiber bodywork, total weight is 2,354 lbs. Range is estimated at almost 190 miles.

Like the Roadster, the SP:01 is built on a Lotus Elise chassis. Unlike the Roadster, it retains the Elise’s gearbox, and will be available with a four-speed, five-speed or automatic transmission. According to the company, the powertrain “creates an electromagnetic field around the rotor shaft, which then spins at varying speeds to drive the wheels. Drivers can select one of four gear ratios for optimal acceleration, but unlike a manual shift in a conventional car, there is little need to change gear regularly to ensure brisk progress.”

Here’s a feature you might not expect in a roadster: vehicle-to-grid technology. “SP:01 is more than just a sports car, it is a mobile energy unit, allowing the user to use its stored battery energy to power not just the car but even an entire home,” says Albert Lam, Detroit Electric’s Chairman and CEO. “SP:01 is equipped with bi-directional charge and discharge capability, allowing it to release its stored electrical energy to power a home. This smart unit can also detect any power failure of the grid and provide the option to the user – via SAMI and the GSM network – to instruct the vehicle to restore power to the home using its stored energy.”

The SP:01 will start at $135,000, and is scheduled to go on sale by the end of August. The company will assemble just 999 units at its new production facility in Wayne County, Michigan.

The current firm bought the rights to the Detroit Electric brand, which is a notable name in EV history. The original company was founded in 1906, and built some 13,000 electric vehicles between then and 1939.


Sources: Detroit Electric, New York Times

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