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Detroit Electric releases sketch of 3 planned EVs

Sven Gustafson

Detroit Electric, the U.K. startup recently invigorated by $1.8 billion in Chinese capital, on Wednesday released the first outline sketches of three electric vehicles it plans to produce over the next three years. The models include a sports car, a crossover and a large sedan.

The company is making its announcement today at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicles 2017 event at Millbrook in Bedfordshire, England.

Back in March, the company announced it had landed $1.8 billion via a joint venture agreement with a Chinese electrical and battery company called Far East Smarter Energy Group, along with plans to spend $370 million over the next four years to ramp up European operations and begin production of three EVs. Its first goal was to launch production of the SP:01, an all-electric, rear-wheel-drive, mid-engine two-seater based on a Lotus platform.

The company is now looking to recruit up to 200 engineers by next spring, and it plans to expand its current headquarters in Leamington Spa, England, with a new R&D facility, which will work alongside engineers in China. Production will take place in the U.K. and China, according to Motor Authority, and the company hopes to sell its cars around the world.

"We have been working for a long time to put our company into a position where we're ready to embark on this exciting journey, Richie Frost, Detroit Electric's chief technical officer and company director, said in a statement. "And we wanted to share our excitement with the visitors to the LCV event by releasing these sketches. The are an unequivocal signal of our intent.

"We have secured a solid financial foundation and are fortunate to have exceptional facilities in Warwickshire that we're looking to expand further in the months ahead."

Detroit Electric was originally the name of an electric car manufactured by the Anderson Electric Car Co. in Detroit between 1907 and 1939. With a range of about 80 miles, that car gained notoriety when one model went a then-record 211 miles on a single charge.

The brand name was revived in the Netherlands in 2008.

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