| DETROIT, April 25
DETROIT, April 25 Detroit Electric, the
Michigan-based startup electric-car maker, said Thursday it will
partner with China's Geely Automobile to develop
electric cars for the Chinese market.
Geely owns Sweden's Volvo Cars and recently withdrew as a
potential bidder for Fisker Automotive, the failing California
Detroit Electric earlier this month unveiled its own model,
a $135,000, battery-powered sports car that it says will go into
limited production in August in the Detroit area.
Geely and Detroit Electric are jointly developing a
pure-electric version of Geely's Emgrand EC7, a compact sedan
about the size of a Honda Civic. The Emgrand EC7-EV is slated to
go on sale in the first quarter of 2014, with annual sales
gradually ramping up to 30,000 within three years, the partners
The partnership was announced this week at the Shanghai Auto
Show, as Chinese carmakers try to balance the government's
efforts to promote green cars with Chinese consumers'
overwhelming disinterest in electric and hybrid electric
Beijing's so-called 'new-energy' car policy, which aims to
put half a million EVs and hybrids on the road by 2015 and 5
million by 2020, has failed to gain traction, despite a flurry
of incentives to customers and auto companies.
Detroit Electric said it would form a joint-venture company
with Geely to manufacture EV components for Geely's electric
cars near the Chinese's firm's Hangzhou headquarters.
"I am confident that we can become a leader of pure electric
vehicles in the Chinese market within the next 18 months," said
Detroit Electric CEO Albert Lam in a statement.
In March, Geely formed a $160-million electric-car joint
venture with China's Kandi Technologies Group to build
battery-powered minicars primarily for urban commuters in China.
In March 2012, Geely announced a deal with its Volvo
subsidiary covering the joint development of electric-vehicle
technology, including plug-in hybrids.
"It's a strategic imperative for us to try to unlock the
synergies within the group," said Geely Chairman Li Shufu at the
At the early April unveiling of Detroit Electric's first
car, CEO Lam said the company planned to introduce four more
electric vehicles, including a hatchback and a sedan, by late
2014. Unlike the $135,000 sports car, Lam said the next models
would be "priced for everyday users."
Lam also said Detroit Electric was looking to raise another
$50 million to $100 million from investors to help fund the new
He said Detroit Electric would source a number of its
components from overseas suppliers, and expected to name a
Chinese partner at the Shanghai show.
Lam said Detroit Electric was targeting 10,000 electric-car
sales in 2014, growing to 45,000 by 2017, with 45 percent of its
sales in the United States.