Detroit goes Electric again

March 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

detroit electricDetroit Electric: a name from car-building in the early 20th century, defunct for some 70 years, now revived. A teaser image has been released of a two-seater sports car (Lotus Elise-derived, says Autoweek), to be launched next month. The company – headed by former Lotus Group CEO Albert Lam – has signed a long-term lease on an office in the Fisher Building, downtown Detroit, and promises to employ over 180 people in the next year; boutique-level production of 2,500 cars a year is planned. Detroit Electric is also to announce “a major partnership with a global carmaker” at the Shanghai Motor Show in April, and two further high-performance models are promised by the end of 2014.

  • Indian industrial conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra has launched a new EV: the Mahindra e20, a four-seater city car, is said to have a range of 100km, has a smartphone user interface, can be charged in five hours from a 15-amp socket, and crucially, it’s cheap (Rs 5.96 lakh, about $11,000 or  £7277). It builds upon Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles’ earlier offering, the G-Wiz, and whilst it has no airbags or safety kit to Western expectations, it is said to meet minimum European crash test standards (for quadricycles). Details here, more at Autocar India.
  • All-electric cars made up a staggering 3% of new car sales last month in Norway, reports Automotive News Europe. Big subsidies, tax breaks and incentives such as free parking, road toll exemption and use of bus lanes are a significant factor – and nearly 100% of the electricity used for EVs in this Nordic nation comes from hydropower.
  • GM is working on a three-cylinder range-extender engine for the Volt and related ER-EVs, reports Edmunds. This would replace the current 1.4-litre four, and could come in sizes from 1.0-1.2 litres.
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