Detroit Electric has signed a joint venture with Far East Smarter Energy Group of China, helping it secure a total investment of £1.4 billion for the development and production of electric vehicles in Europe.
The joint venture will see £304 million invested into Detroit Electric’s European operations over the next four years. Initially, this will fund the completion of the final homologation phase of its all-electric SP:01 sports car and the start of volume production at the company’s Leamington Spa facilities in the UK.
This will include the creation of 120 new engineering jobs and 100 new manufacturing jobs. Series production of the SP:01 is planned to start later this year.
“I am delighted to be able to announce this new joint venture which represents a significant boost to vehicle manufacturing and the EV industry in Europe and an important new step towards bringing our family of EVs to market,” said Albert Lam, chairman and CEO of Detroit Electric.
In parallel to the SP:01 activities in the UK, the new joint venture will establish an all-new design, research and development, testing and production facility. The focus of this new technical and manufacturing centre will be the development of a family of Detroit Electric vehicles for launch in the coming years. First in the pipeline is an all-new battery electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) that will enter production in late 2018. A third model is planned for launch in 2020.
To accommodate assembly lines for those new models, the company plans to expand its existing facilities in Leamington Spa and the workforce will double to over 400 directly employed colleagues, and as many again potentially employed indirectly at local businesses supplying services and support to the site.
By 2020, the joint venture aims to be selling 100,000 Detroit Electric vehicles annually in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle markets around the world.