SP:01 electric sports car to be built in UK

Volume production of a new, all-electric sports car is set to take place at Detroit Electric’s Leamington Spa facilities following the signing of a joint venture agreement.

The deal with China’s Far East Smarter Energy Group has helped secure a total investment of $1.8bn for the development and production of electric vehicles over the next three years.

The joint venture will invest $370m into Detroit Electric’s European operations over the next four years with initial funds directed at completing the final homologation phase of its two-seater SP:01 sports car and the start of volume production at the company’s Leamington Spa facilities.

According to Michigan, USA-based Detroit Electric, this will include the creation of 120 new engineering jobs and 100 new manufacturing jobs. Series production of the SP:01 is planned to start later this year.

In parallel to the SP:01 activities in the UK, the new joint venture will establish a research and development, testing and production facility. The focus of this new technical and manufacturing centre will be the development of a family of Detroit Electric vehicles for future launches, including an electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) that will enter production in late 2018. A third model is planned for launch in 2020.

To accommodate assembly lines for those new models, the company will expand existing facilities in Leamington Spa and double its workforce at the site in Warwickshire.

“We have been working exceptionally hard over a long period to establish this joint venture and to secure funding for our ambitious new electric vehicle programme,” said Albert Lam, chairman and CEO of Detroit Electric, “So I am delighted to be able to announce this new joint venture which represents a significant boost to vehicle manufacturing and the EV industry in Europe and an important new step towards bringing our family of EVs to market.”

By 2020, the joint venture aims to be selling 100,000 Detroit Electric vehicles annually in electric vehicle markets around the world.