A strategic partnership between Detroit Electric and Geely Automotive was recenetly announced in Shanghai, at Auto Shanghai 2013. The two manufacturers plan to co-develop electric vehicles and powertrain components for the Chinese market.
They expect to start selling the first vehicle, under Geely’s Emgrand brand, in 2014.
The agreement with Geely follows three years of feasibility studies and joint development. The companies selected the Emgrand EC7, a nondescript mid-level luxury brand launched by Geely in 2009, as the first base vehicle.
The vehicle will be named the EC7-EV and will be co-branded with a “Detroit Electric Technology” badge.
The vehicle will initially be sold primarily to business users and public-sector organisations. The EC7-EV will be offered in two driving ranges: 100 miles and 160 miles. The car will offer a 0-60 time under eight seconds, and a top speed of around 125 miles per hour.
The companies forecast building 3,000 cars in the first 12 months, and to grow sales in China to 30,000 cars a year within three years.
The development teams have been working together on EV powertrain components, including electric motors, vehicle management systems, advanced thermo-managed battery packs, battery management systems, and a twin-speed high-torque gearbox.
The partnership includes a joint venture company to manufacture the critical EV powertrain components and associated parts.
According to a statement by Albert Lam, Chairman and Group CEO of Detroit Electric
Detroit Electric will jointly develop the EC7-EV, covering all aspects of the powertrain and chassis, safety, vehicle dynamics, system integration, NVH and other items. We have been working alongside Geely for some time to optimise the EV drive technologies for integration into the vehicles and this partnership will now fast-track both Geely and Detroit Electric to realizing the great EV market potential in the Chinese market. I am confident that we can become a leader of pure electric vehicles in the Chinese market within the next 18 months.
Whether or not this will be a good move for Detroit Electric is hard to say at this point, but it might be just what it needs in order to get rolling.