Revived Electric Vehicle is 'Detroit' in Name Only

The fabled Detroit Electric brand, formerly owned by now-defunct Anderson Electric Car Company, has been been relaunched as Detroit Electric Holdings. Leading the way is Albert Lam, the company's Chariman and CEO. Lam is a former CEO of Lotus Engineering Group and Executive Director of Lotus Group International.

So I guess it's okay to co-opt an old corporate brand name like that? Truth be told it's actually a killer name, Detroit Electric! Electric Detroit!

Don't the fellas over at (new and improved) Detroit Electric read the papers? The name 'Detroit' has been losing its luster for some time now. It's no longer synonymous with automotive might. It's kind of like hitching your new social networking site to the Friendster brand.

The vehicle they're hyping is the Detroit Electric e63, which features partnerships with Malaysia-based Proton Holdings (for a manufacturing plant and the vehicle body) and with a Korean firm (for the batteries). The powertrain meanwhile will be designed in the Netherlands. The firm itself, according to their URL, is located in the UK.

In other words there seems to be nothing at all even remotely Detroit-ish about the Detroit Electric except the name. Very clever.

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The Detroit Electric e63 is a four-door sedan based on an existing Proton model. Europe and China will get first crack in early 2010, followed by the United States.

  • Some early specs
  • 0-to100 km/h: under 8 seconds
  • Top speed: 112 mph (180 km/h)
  • Battery pack: Lithium ion polymer
  • Price: About $25,000.
  • Propulsion: 200hp electric motor
  • Optional: An extended range version, which will have a 200 mile range (320 km) and cost an additional $5,000

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