Geely Automobile Group, a prominent China-based global car manufacturer, and Detroit Electric Inc, a leading electric vehicle manufacturer, have announced at the Shanghai Motor Show that the two companies have entered into strategic partnership to co-develop pure electric vehicles and related electric drive systems for the Chinese market.
Under the terms of the partnership the first model of pure electric vehicles will go on sale under Geely’s Emgrand brand starting in 2014.
After an initial three years of feasibility studies and a joint development programme, the two companies have selected Geely’s best-selling Emgrand EC7 model in the domestic Chinese market as the base vehicle on which to develop a class-leading pure electric vehicle.
The EC7-based EV, called the EC7-EV, will be co-branded with a ‘Detroit Electric – Technology’ badge and sales are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2014. 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 critical 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 165km per charge) and long-range options (an approximate range of 258km per charge). Building on Detroit Electric’s performance DNA, the vehicle can deliver class-leading acceleration (0-100kph acceleration under eight seconds) and a top speed exceeding 200kph. 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.
“This is a very significant step in the development of the Detroit Electric business and is testimony to our innovative technology and engineering capabilities,” comments Albert Lam, Chairman and Group CEO of Detroit Electric. “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 realising 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. I am sure it is going to be a world class product.”
Mr Feng, President of Emgrand, added: “Our partnership with a leading electric vehicle technology provider such as Detroit Electric will enable us to enhance and accelerate our own expertise and knowledge in this area. The EC7-EV will enable us to provide a wider vehicle choice to our customers and it also reiterates our commitment to providing alternate energy vehicles to the market in China.“
Earlier this month Detroit Electric unveiled its first production vehicle, the SP:01. Boasting an impressive 249 km/h top speed and covering the 0-100km/h sprint in a blistering 3.7 seconds, the SP:01 is the world’s fastest pure-electric production car. The SP:01 also makes its public debut at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show.