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Old 04-16-2013, 09:17 PM   #1
torquemada
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Default Detroit Electric SP:01

http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2...irst-look.html

Quote:
  • Competitors: Pre-owned Tesla Roadster, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive
  • Looks like: A lightly restyled Lotus Exige (basically a Tesla Roadster or Hennessy Venom GT)
  • Drivetrain: Mid-mounted 201-horsepower electric motor, 37-kwh lithium-ion battery pack; choice of four- or five-speed manual or two-speed automatic transmission
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2013 (so they say)
  • MSRP: $135,000
A new company using an old name has unveiled an extraordinary state-of-the-art electric sports car in the heart of the American auto industry. Detroit Electric, an electric-vehicle company that ran from 1906 through 1939 and built 13,000 cars well before anyone else was making EVs, has been reborn in the Motor City.
It intends to produce the SP:01 electric sports car using a Lotus Exige platform modified to accept an electric powertrain. Sound familiar? It should; that's the formula that created the original Tesla Roadster. But the Detroit Electric people say they have improved upon Tesla's designs, and the specs are indeed impressive.
Motivation is provided by a 150-kilowatt (201 horsepower) mid-mounted electric motor with electricity coming from an onboard 37-kilowatt-hour air-cooled lithium-polymer battery pack. Three gearbox options are available: a four- or five-speed manual and a two-speed automatic. The combination is responsible for some impressive numbers: zero to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds, a top speed of 155 mph, a total range of at least 180 miles and a recharge time of just over 4 hours on a 240-volt circuit (more than 10 hours on a standard 120-volt household plug).
The body, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Lotus Exige for reasons that will become clear in a moment, is all carbon fiber allowing the SP:01 to trim weight and offset the big battery pack. The car weighs just 2,354 pounds, which is nearly 130 pounds less than a base Mazda Miata MX-5 and 369 pounds less than a Tesla Roadster.
Two unique features of the SP:01 make it distinctive from previous electric sports cars. First is the 360 Powerback, which allows the car's onboard "bidirectional" charger to act as both a charger for the car or a power source for a home. In the event of an electrical outage, the SP:01's battery can be used to provide electricity for a residence.
The car will not have a traditional entertainment system the audio system will be dependent upon a smartphone integrated into the center console. It uses an app that Detroit Electric calls the Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment system. This is the first instance of an automaker relying on the music player and satellite navigation functions of a smartphone for its vehicle, providing instead just a receptacle and software for integration. SAMI can also control interior lighting, display vehicle system status, remotely control cabin climate, monitor battery charge status and more.
On paper, the car looks good. The business plan is where things start to stumble. Management isn't the issue. The reason the car looks like a Lotus is that four out of the five top executives of Detroit Electric come from Lotus Engineering's North American and Chinese consultancy operations, so designing a car is certainly within their power.
The company's ambitious plans for sales and production, however, are highly questionable. Detroit Electric says that production of the SP:01 will begin at an unspecified facility somewhere in Wayne County, Mich., (home of Detroit) by August, which is less than four months from now. The company plans to build just 999 of the SP:01 at an MSRP of $135,000 each, and it hopes to sell out as quickly as possible in order to fund the next project, a more affordable $50,000 family sedan. If this sounds a little too much like Fisker Automotive's business model, that would be fairly spot on.











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Old 04-16-2013, 09:24 PM   #2
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Just what the world needs, another electric Lotus.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:22 PM   #3
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In fact it does. If we get enough theyll eventually be affordable.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:34 PM   #4
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I would never buy this, but if given it I would enjoy it very much

I have to admit I find the detroit electric moniker nostalgic in an awesome way. Can someone please explain to bloggers/reviewers/etc that reporting recharge time on different voltages is stupid. Especially when the amperage isn't included. Even then it is a dumb metric. Tell us the recharge rate (time/kWh charged or something). Then it is a useful comparison if one vehicle is more efficient, otherwise it is just foolish.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:00 AM   #5
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The "powerback" feature coupled with a relatively large capacity battery (relative to a typical commute) is the dream for renewable energy. If a large fleet of these vehicles is deployed and the power can be managed by a third party (think cell phone minutes) then it solves a *lot* of problems for intermittent renewable energy resources such as wind and solar.

I used the word "dream" above on purpose, but I honestly think if there weren't folks who could think past the end of their nose and dream, we would still be riding horses and dying of tooth decay in our 20's and 30's.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechie3 View Post
In fact it does. If we get enough theyll eventually be affordable.
Key word is "Eventually".

At the rate electric cars are selling, "eventually" is going to be a very long time.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blubaru703 View Post
Key word is "Eventually".

At the rate electric cars are selling, "eventually" is going to be a very long time.
I don't know about that. Nissan sold ~5x as many Leafs last year than GM sold Corvettes.

Sales ramped up significantly in 2012, and showing more growth in 2013.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:24 AM   #8
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What to think?
What to think?

Well this company is using a questionable business model for sure, but they are relying on private investors and corporate backing, so I have no heartburn over that. Are they going to be successful? Who knows. How many early adopters are there left with 135000 dollars to spend? The ability to power the house is kinda cool in the case of say a hurricane or earthquake I suppose. But that seems a bit gimmicky and I question how often it will be used.

The one novel thing I read here is that it will be offered with a manual transmission option. That is sort of neat. Relying on the smart phone for all the tech comes across as smart, but at the same time a cheap way out. 135000 dollar is a Hell of a lot of money for a toy. Not sure, but if there was still money to be made in the converted electric lotus niche, I would think Tesla would still be making them.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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I thought one of the big reasons Tesla stopped production of the Roadster was that Lotus no longer was offering gliders for sale. I wonder how Detroit Electric plans to get around this.

Given that Tesla is now offering used Roadsters for sale as CPOs I see absolutely no reason that a sane buyer who somehow ardently desires a $100k electric toy would choose the newcomer's product.

http://www.teslamotors.com/preowned
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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I'm not convinced Lotus is the be-all end-all for styling all of these re-purposing companies think it is... Hennessey, now this company. Pick something without a flat roof line
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:42 AM   #11
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The transmission makes it infinitely more fun than the Tesla.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
air-cooled lithium-polymer battery pack
do not want.

Then again, maybe the target market has heated and cooled garages at both ends of their commute...
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:06 PM   #13
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hold on masterauto,

this one EV company that I have not found any federal money in yet.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:02 PM   #14
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Tesla did it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
I have to admit I find the detroit electric moniker nostalgic in an awesome way.
I have to wonder if Studebaker is primed for a comeback.

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Old 04-18-2013, 12:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
hold on masterauto,

this one EV company that I have not found any federal money in yet.
I'm convinced master auto is a bot with multiple links / sentences / images that get posted if they match the tag of a thread.

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Old 04-18-2013, 04:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Indocti Discant View Post
I'm convinced master auto is a bot with multiple links / sentences / images that get posted if they match the tag of a thread.

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Old 04-19-2013, 02:33 PM   #18
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see..



i rest my case.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:39 PM   #19
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On the topic of news media reporting recharge times and being stupid look at this blurb from autoblog green

http://green.autoblog.com/2013/04/22...-times-faster/
Quote:
Imagine recharging a Nissan Leaf from a standard 110-volt outlet in, say, oh, about a minute. Far-fetched, sure, but at least one research facility thinks it has a lead on making lithium-ion batteries that can recharge 1,000 times faster than current ones.
MAKES ME SO MAD and the media are confusing the average consumer with this BS. Making a battery recharge faster does not make it take less time on a 110 volt outlet if you are already maxing out the capacity of the outlet...
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:03 PM   #20
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They're talking about 12,000A 120V outlets, duh. Don't you have one of those in your house?
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:12 PM   #21
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I'm waiting for the 20,000A 120V outlets. I like using heavier gauge wire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Nick View Post
The transmission makes it infinitely more fun than the Tesla.
Tesla originally attempted to use a 2 speed transmission, but there were some issues dealing with the electric motor's torque.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:11 PM   #22
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Yeah I looked it up the battery loses something like 5% capacity each cycle as well so 1000x faster recharge doesn't buy you much
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
On the topic of news media reporting recharge times and being stupid look at this blurb from autoblog green

http://green.autoblog.com/2013/04/22...-times-faster/

MAKES ME SO MAD and the media are confusing the average consumer with this BS. Making a battery recharge faster does not make it take less time on a 110 volt outlet if you are already maxing out the capacity of the outlet...
And also that somehow the electric current coming out of your outlets is just magic, and doesn't have to come from somewhere that generates it, usually by burning some sort of fuel, since Hydro isn't everywhere and "harms the ecosystem", and the greenies are petrified of Nuclear power...

It also be transmitted across a lossy, likely outdated power grid that was NEVER designed to handle the demands of everyone's cars being charged from it.

On-board generation is the only feasible answer for electric traction motors, and in that case, it has to beat on-board generation of kinetic energy (internal combustion mechanical drivetrain) in both efficiency, and cost efficiency to be viable. Batteries, range limitations, heat and flammability safety concerns, and charging them are all problematic. Batteries continue to be the weak link, as they have been since NIKOLA Tesla tried building an electric carriage in the 1800s.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:50 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
And also that somehow the electric current coming out of your outlets is just magic, and doesn't have to come from somewhere that generates it, usually by burning some sort of fuel, since Hydro isn't everywhere and "harms the ecosystem", and the greenies are petrified of Nuclear power...
I love Nuclear power so I guess I am not a greenie

Quote:
It also be transmitted across a lossy, likely outdated power grid that was NEVER designed to handle the demands of everyone's cars being charged from it.
There are only isolated locations on the distribution side where this will be a problem. The existing transmission grid could easily hand 25-50% of the light duty fleet being replaced by electric cars. The grid can adapt faster than cars will be adopted, though I freely admit the speed of getting new right of way for transmission lines etc.. can seem glacial. It will still be faster than adoption of electric vehicles.

Quote:
On-board generation is the only feasible answer for electric traction motors, and in that case, it has to beat on-board generation of kinetic energy (internal combustion mechanical drivetrain) in both efficiency, and cost efficiency to be viable. Batteries, range limitations, heat and flammability safety concerns, and charging them are all problematic. Batteries continue to be the weak link, as they have been since NIKOLA Tesla tried building an electric carriage in the 1800s.
I will not agree that on board generation is the only feasible answer, but I will agree that there are issues regarding cost efficiency, range limitations, heat, flammability, reliability, charging infrastructure wise and so on. Batteries have come a long ways since 1900 but they do still have a long ways to go if they are going to replace the internal combustion engine. However if they are to compliment it, or be used in specific situations then they are already there.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:42 PM   #25
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When Toyota and Nissan are making marketing points that their electric cars can be used like an auxiliary generator, to power one's HOUSE for a period of time...

That is a lot of current. A lot of capacitance to be charged, and if the C rating goes up... it demands more available input current to charge faster.

That isn't light duty.

I agree that in real terms, that electric car adoption is very slow, but the proponents of electric cars over fuel-burning cars seem to magically want everyone to adopt, or maybe even be enticed, or possibly even FORCED to adopt electric cars, for the greater good.

They don't seem to be satisifed with slow growth, I don't think they'll be satisfied with 25-50% adoption, and if they were to get their way, the electric grid would not be able to handle the spike in demand, in addition to existing demand.

Not just power lines, but sub-stations, switching hardware, and transformers are not necessarily brand new, and not necessarily specified for a residential neighborhood to double their electrical demand to charge a car. Especially quick chargers that require well in excess of 100-200 amp 3-phase service that most homes currently have, and are already using a fair amount of.

Imagine the refrigerator and the air conditioner popping on overnight in the dead heat of summer (or heat in the cold of winter, which might be even worse), and blowing the main circuit breaker, because the electric car is already using 90%+ of the incoming service current budget. Everything goes out. The car isn't charged, the refrigerator is getting warm, as is the house... and the alarm clock is off, and the people are asleep, not realizing what is wrong.

Worse yet, if it starts an electrical fire due to overheated wiring in the house. I hope that theoretical household has battery-backup fire alarms to wake them... not solely ac line powered, or solely battery powered with a dead 9-volt.

And that is not even yet getting into the flammability of the lithium battery assembly of the vehicle, if it gets shorted out, unbalanced-charge, or physically damaged somehow, and ruptures, exposing the lithium substrate to an oxygen containing atmosphere. Like some chevy volts that went up without warning, three weeks after being crash tested.

Last edited by HipToBeSquare; 04-24-2013 at 06:50 PM.
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