Second time is not the charm as delays continue to plague Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric may have one of the oldest names in the car business, but it’s having the same problems as any other startup.

The revived maker of electric cars has pushed back production of its SP:01 electric sports car for a second time. Production was supposed to begin this month, but the company has still not secured a facility to build its cars, the Detroit News reports.

This is not the first time Detroit Electric has had trouble securing its chosen facility in Plymouth, Michigan. The company’s North American president, Don Graunstadt, told the Detroit News that the company still hasn’t signed a lease or purchase agreement for the Wayne County plant.

If Detroit Electric can ever occupy the space, it plans to build 2,500 cars a year there and employ 100 workers.

The Detroit Electric name was attached to some of the first electric cars built in the United States. The company went out of business over 70 years ago and was revived this past March to build the Lotus Elise-based SP:01.

That should sound familiar, because Tesla did the same thing with its first car, the Roadster. Performance of the two electric Lotuses should be pretty close, although Detroit Electric says it will offer more options on its version.

Detroit Electric is also working with Geely (owner of Volvo) to develop electric cars for the Chinese market.

While Detroit Electric may have an old name, it’s still facing the same problems that make automotive startups notoriously short-lived. The list of failed independent carmakers (Tucker, DeLorean, Bricklin, Coda, Fisker) is long, while the list of successfully revived carmakers is practically nonexistent.

That doesn’t mean Detroit Electric won’t be able to pull off a Tesla and prevent history from repeating itself. It’s just that the odds are always against new carmakers, even if they have old names.


Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.

Lincoln revives its coolest-ever design feature for limited-edition Continental

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Product Review

Ford’s reincarnated Ranger feels like a car that does everything a truck can do

The 2019 Ford Ranger aims to be a tool for weekend adventures, and goes head-to-head with midsize pickup trucks from Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. Ford hasn’t sold the Ranger in the United States since 2011, so it has to make up…

Audi’s self-driving car unit teams up with Luminar to go driverless in 2021

Audi's self-driving car unit has teamed up with Luminar to develop and test autonomous technology. Luminar provides its lidar technology, which sees farther than the sensors offered by rivals, while Audi brings its own software.