|The Emgrand EC7-EV at Auto Shanghai. Click to enlarge.|
Geely Automobile Group and Detroit Electric Inc. have entered into a strategic partnership to co-develop battery-electric vehicles and related electric drive systems for the China market. Under the terms of the partnership, the first EV model—the Emgrand EC7-EV, based on Geely’s Emgrand EC7—will go on sale in 2014.
The EC7-EV will be co-branded with a “Detroit Electric – Technology” badge. The vehicle will initially be sold primarily to business users and public-sector organisations, and the two companies are forecasting sales of around 3,000 units in the first 12 months, growing to 30,000 in three years’ time.
A joint development and engineering team has been formed to work together in all areas of the EV powertrain solution, including electric motor, vehicle management system, advanced thermo-managed battery pack, battery management system and a twin-speed high-torque gearbox.
The partnership also extends to the formulation of a joint venture company to manufacture the EV powertrain components and associated parts, situated close to Geely’s headquarters in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province. Geely also operates six car assembly and powertrain manufacturing plants across China.
The new EC7-EV model will offer both medium-range (with a driving range of 165 km/103 miles per charge) and long-range options (an approximate range of 258 km/160 miles per charge). The vehicle will accelerate from 0-100 km/h acceleration under eight seconds and offer a top speed exceeding 200 km/h (124 mph). Whatever the preferred performance characteristics for the chosen chassis, the innovative Detroit Electric twin-speed high-torque gearbox is engineered to provide exceptional levels of energy efficiency.
Detroit Electric will jointly develop the EC7-EV, covering all aspects of the powertrain and chassis, safety, vehicle dynamics, system integration, NVH and other items. We have been working alongside Geely for some time to optimise the EV drive technologies for integration into the vehicles and this partnership will now fast-track both Geely and Detroit Electric to realizing the great EV market potential in the Chinese market. I am confident that we can become a leader of pure electric vehicles in the Chinese market within the next 18 months.—Albert Lam, Chairman and Group CEO of Detroit Electric
Earlier this month Detroit Electric unveiled its first production vehicle, the SP:01 two-seat electric sports-car. (Earlier post.)