Chinese manufacturer Geely Automobile has signed a partnership with US EV company Detroit Electric to jointly develop a range of pure-electric vehicles that is set to launch in China in 2014.
Due to go on sale in the first quarter of 2014 under Geely's Emgrand brand, but wearing a 'Detroit Electric – Technology' badge, the first EV will be based on the domestic Chinese market’s Emgrand EC7 (pictured below) with the name EC7-EV.
To be sold initially to business users and public-sector organisations, Geely and Detroit Electric are targeting sales of around 3000 units of the EC7-EV in the first 12 months, growing to 30,000 units by 2016.
A manufacturing company concentrating on the production of “critical EV powertrain components and associated parts” is also to be formed as a joint venture between the two companies, situated close to Geely’s headquarters in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, joining Geely’s six existing car assembly and powertrain manufacturing plants spread across China.
Offering two specifications – one with a range 165km per charge and one able to travel 258km on one charge – the new EC7-EV model aims to achieve a class-leading 0-100km/h acceleration time of less than eight seconds and a top speed of over 200km/h via a Detroit Electric twin-speed high-torque gearbox.
Detroit Electric chairman and group CEO Albert Lam said his company would cover all aspects of the EC7-EV’s powertrain, chassis, safety, vehicle dynamics, system integration, NVH and other items to ensure it’s a world class product.
“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,” Lam said.
“I am confident that we can become a leader of pure electric vehicles in the Chinese market within the next 18 months.”
Showing its engineering capabilities, the Detroit Electric SP:01 was unveiled by the American company earlier this month, with the brand’s first production vehicle able to reach 100km/h in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 249km/h, all with zero emissions produced thanks to its 150kW/225Nm electric motor and 37kWh battery pack.