America is getting another new car company, and it’s a blast, or reboot from the past.
Detroit Electric has announced plans to build a two-seat electric sports car in its namesake city, starting this year. Headed by former Lotus executive Andrew Lam, the company has established its headquarters in Detroit’s famous landmark Fisher Building and says it will create 180 jobs and initially have the capacity to build 2,500 cars a year.
The Detroit Electric name resurrects that of a storied automaker from a century ago, which was one of the world’s top producers of electric cars before the technology was pushed aside by the internal combustion engine.
Lam has been trying to get the new company off the ground since 2008, having previously announced various schemes to partner with Asian automakers to build electric versions of their cars, none of which came to fruition.
Only a teaser image of latest effort has been released, but the car will be unveiled in full on April 3rd at an event in Detroit before making its public debut at the Shanghai Auto Show, a possible indication of one of the “target markets” Detroit Electric plans to launch in, per its press release.
Many industry analysts expect that the car will be built on a modified version of a Lotus chassis fitted with a battery-powered drive train, similar to how the Tesla Roadster was produced.
All Detroit Electric will say is that it will announce a “major partnership with a global carmaker” at the Shanghai show, but one of the companies it previously planned to work with was Malaysia’s Proton, which currently owns Lotus.
Detroit Electric says a pair of high performance sedans will follow the two-seater in 2014.