Back in November, we asked if Green Cars were for everyone, especially as car manufacturers are increasing the number of Green Cars that they are both producing and 'concepting', looking to follow in the footsteps of the Nissan Leaf, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the BMW i3.
And even though there are more and more cars available to lease that fall under the umbrella of Fuel Efficient/Hybrid/Electric Cars, many people are still undecided - especially those with a need for speed.
Well, now the lightest and fastest two-seat pure-electric sports car in the world has just rolled off the line in Leamington Spa in the shape of the first production Detroit Electric SP:01.
Nearly 3 years in the making, the lightweight SP:01 combines a carbon fibre body with an aluminium chassis to make sure that the amount of weight drag that the electric motor has to encounter is at a very minimum; in fact the SP:01 has a class-leading power to weight ratio to aid the speed that the driver craves.
And that top speed of 155mph is reached in an impressive time, with 0-60mph acceleration achieved in just 3.7 seconds Impressive figures on any sports car, let alone one powered a 285HP / 210kW electric motor with a single-speed automatic transmission as standard, with the option of twin-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmissions.
The battery in the SP:01 is fully integrated into the chassis to help add stiffness to enhance handling and safety, something also achieved with the 140Wh/kg battery itself being "the most energy-dense automotive battery pack in the world."
Exclusive to the SP:01 is a bi-directional charge technology called ‘360 Powerback’ - a patented home charging and power back-up unit which works both ways: into and out of the car! Detroit Electric believe that this "bi-directional technology will revolutionize the way electric cars are perceived and utilized in the future" as the app-based system called ‘SAMI’ (Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment) is used to help transfer power FROM the car to the home in case of power failure there.
So, not only can you charge from home, you can charge to it too. In fact, in the near future, the car manufacturer hopes that the opportunity to earn money by selling the SP:01’s battery storage capacity back to the grid will be a viable option.
And with the ability to transfer to home comes the ability to transfer energy to another vehicle, should the need arise with 360 Powerback Vehicle to Vehicle. As Mr. Albert Lam, CEO and Chairman of Detroit Electric Holdings, "The SP:01 is more than just a car, it is a mobile energy unit."
The ‘SAMI’ (Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment) is part of the standard equipment on the SP:01, and is fully compatible with Android Auto to allow safe access to a host of apps and internet functions, including a search function for nearby roadside charge points, a pre-booking system when it comes to charging time, and billing reviews and credit information relating to the charge-point use.
Away from the actual SP:01 car, drivers can use SAMI as a remote control unit via GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), so they can find the car if they've forgotten where it is - essential in the confines and chaos of a busy city - turn on the climate control system and check the charge status. And back in the car, from its home the centre console, the SAMI-enabled smartphone becomes the interface for a wide range of functions, including music player, satellite navigation, regenerative braking adjustment, interior lighting and a whole host of vehicle systems information such as the level of battery charge and range to recharge.
The SP:01 also has its very own in-house developed thermal management system and a telemetry-link to the company's central portal so the health of the battery packs and electric powertrain can continuously by monitored from anywhere around the world.
Chairman Albert Lam is a proud man: “We are thrilled to see our first production car roll off the line at our UK manufacturing site. Our first customer is sure to appreciate the unique experience of driving the SP:01 as we’ve worked hard to develop technologies that ensure it is one of the most rewarding pure electric sports cars to drive.
“Seeing our vision realised is hugely satisfying and we can now focus on fulfilling a growing bank of orders. As our production process builds momentum, we look forward to providing this unique electric sports car to our customers all over the world,” he added.
Obviously the Detroit Electric can be considered a car way out of the league of many drivers, but the beauty of such a car is that it shows off the advancements in technology that the electric car revolution has made.
From the initial days of the Nissan LEAF to the technological improvement found on the likes of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the BMW i3, the option of an electric vehicle is growing even more. It would be a shame to be left behind.