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Captain Hybrid

Slideshow: Detroit Electric Unveils 'World's Fastest' Electric Sports Car

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naperlou
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Electric fast
naperlou   4/15/2013 11:37:29 AM
Cap'n, now that's a nice car.  My understanding is that it is basically an electric version of the Lotus Elise (which makes sense considering who the head of the company is).  This continues a long tradition of collaboration between Detroit and England which produced cars such as the Ford GT40. 

I am impressed that they can get such range out of a smaller battery pack.  That is important, especially as it pertains to charging time.  Tesla was originally looking at a two speed transmission, but deciede they could simplify things without it since they did not strictly need it.  For sports car driving, though, it is nice to have it.

Rob Spiegel
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Odd bird car
Rob Spiegel   4/15/2013 11:46:37 AM
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Chuck, this seems like an weird bird to me. Can a car company enter the auto market successfully with a single offering? Is exclusivity sufficient to interest enough buyers. Can the company be trusted to service the vehicle over its lifespan?

Also, I can't imagine this car all by itself -- a high-performance car -- would be able to manage the upcoming CAFE standards. 

Charles Murray
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Re: Odd bird car
Charles Murray   4/15/2013 12:30:11 PM
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You've asked some tough questions here, Rob, and I think most of them can only be answered with time. Regarding your first question: Tesla originally entered with a single offering -- the Tesla Roadster -- and they appear to be making the business work right now. Admittedly, though, Tesla initially struggled and there are never guarantees that a company like this one will be able to survive those first few difficult years. Regarding CAFE: We don't know the fuel efficiency numbers, but I can't imagine there will be a problem here. They're now getting 180 miles out of a 37-kWh battery, which bodes well for their EPA numbers.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Odd bird car
Rob Spiegel   4/16/2013 4:18:57 PM
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Those are pretty good EPA numbers, Chuck. I wonder if the Porsche EV will also have decent numbers. Maybe Porsche's EV will help that automaker meet its CAFE needs.

Greg Stirling
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Detroit Electric Unveils 'World's Fastest' Electric Sports Car
Greg Stirling   4/15/2013 3:14:41 PM
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Great performance for an electric car.  We know they are quite capable of large bursts of speed, and enough heat to melt the ice on the windscreen.   I think a radio controlled version might be fun.  But at that price, would not want my kids playing with it... 

AnandY
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Gold
Re : Slideshow: Detroit Electric Unveils 'World's Fastest' Electric Sports Car
AnandY   4/15/2013 11:15:00 PM
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 That's partly a result of the liberal use of carbon fiber composites for in car's body. The vehicle's curb weight is just 2,400 pounds.

@Charles, thanks for the update. Usage carbon fiber composite is a very good idea because its light weight and strong but I am more worried about the stability of the car. Since the curb weight is just 2,400 pounts what about stability of the car when it is running at the top speed ?

TJ McDermott
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Roller Coaster
TJ McDermott   4/16/2013 1:30:28 AM
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0-62mph in 3.7 seconds feels like what you get on the California Screamin' roller coaster at Disney's California Adventure amusement park - it uses linear motors to accelerate the coaster from a stand still.

Leave LOTS of room at the stop lights to test this out.

.76G acceleration.  Hmmmm.  If they tweak the performance even more, and we get REALLY grippy tires...

Wall-climbing is in our future!

far911
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Silver
Re: Roller Coaster
far911   4/16/2013 4:45:51 AM
This isn't an electric car, it's an electric car that happens to be interesting. I mean, with a performance like that, you can tell that they're being serious. It carries a hefty price tag, but the drive-cost will certainly pay off for that. 

GeorgeG
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Platinum
Re: Roller Coaster
GeorgeG   4/16/2013 9:47:43 AM
Have you ever priced a Lamborghini?

savaden
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Iron
Re: Roller Coaster
savaden   4/16/2013 10:11:48 AM
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Tesla originally started with a car based on the Lotus Elise. It also had exceptional acceleration. The original 4 speed transmission could not handle the torque and was replaced with a single speed transmission. It seems at first blush that Detroit Electric will be re-learning many of the lessons that Tesla has lived through.

If you simply want an affordable (?) vehicle with stupendous acceleration, get an Ariel Atom with your choice of motivation. Full electric version prototyped by Wrightspeed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qDZOBQs60w

But as with many electric/hybrid car offerings, keeping them in production, (or just making it to production) is quite an accomplishment.

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130405/CARNEWS/130409902

SV

 

rjdelane
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Iron
Needs a better gearbox
rjdelane   4/16/2013 10:28:06 AM
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This car already costs well over $100K so I wonder why they didn't use a proper dual-clutch gearbox for not much more money...the 0-60 times would probably drop another few tenths also and it would be great to drive clicking off shifts via paddle shifters (ala Porsche Cayman S)...it would also be the first electric to have it also.

rjdelane
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Iron
Needs a better gearbox
rjdelane   4/16/2013 10:28:29 AM
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This car already costs well over $100K so I wonder why they didn't use a proper dual-clutch gearbox for not much more money...the 0-60 times would probably drop another few tenths also and it would be great to drive clicking off shifts via paddle shifters (ala Porsche Cayman S)...it would also be the first electric to have it also.

Elizabeth M
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Electric hot rods
Elizabeth M   4/16/2013 10:35:02 AM
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It seems like we're in a new age of EVs and hybrids with this and the new one Porsche has unveiled. Bring it on! This goes to show that these cars aren't just for environmentally-conscious Yuppies anymore and are going or a whole new elite audience. http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1366&doc_id=261782

Battar
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Re: Electric hot rods
Battar   4/16/2013 1:00:53 PM
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More $100K+ electric cars ? Just wehre is the mass market for these vehicles? There isn't one, and a 6 figure price sticker and leather seat covers is the only way there can be any return on investment, I would bet that every single buyer of this vehicle keeps an environment - destroying 250hp + gas guzzling SUV in the garage.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Electric hot rods
Elizabeth M   4/17/2013 8:30:55 AM
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You're probably right, Battar, but I like to have a more optimistic view and hope that by making these type of cars before there is demand for them, somehow the demand eventually will be created. I hope these cars will be so good that those people who still have 200k+ gas guzzling cars will eventually give them up and go EV or hybrid.

kraig
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Iron
Heritage of the Car.
kraig   4/16/2013 11:10:44 AM
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I found this of great interest as the Anderson Carrage was located in Port Huron, Michigan and they then moved to Detroit and became the Detroit Electric. They were powered by the improved batteries that were invented by Thomas Alva Edison who was also from Port Huron MI. and lived a shot distance from the Anderson Carrage Company. I believe a to make any electric vehicle a detachable power source like a APU that could be used as a range extender in necessary. Until fuel cells or other processes become avaialible, range limitations are the downside. I was happy to see a Detroit Electric in the Greenfield Village Parade at The Henry Ford run with the many internal combustion entrants. Just to leave you with a thought. All Railroads in America are powered by electricity.

Powereng+
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NOT the worlds Fastest Electric Car
Powereng+   4/16/2013 12:40:30 PM
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This car is impressive, however it is not the fastest.  I know if one that has a top speed of 190MPH and 0-60 in 2.8 seconds with a 300mile range.  See link.

http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1075812_1088-hp-rimac-concept-one-electric-car-on-sale-for-980000

You guys should check your information before posting.

MVRS
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Iron
Re: NOT the worlds Fastest Electric Car
MVRS   4/16/2013 1:07:18 PM
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Impressive vehicle to say the least!  As far as I can see, it is still a concept and not in production.  So until that point, the SP:01 appears to be the fastest/quickest.

j-allen
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Gold
Electric Sports Car
j-allen   4/16/2013 1:54:26 PM
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Why do we need an overpriced electric car that attempts to mimic the performance of a gas car?   What would really do some good is a light, simple affordable electric.  It might have a range of 25 to 40 miles and a top speed of perhaps 55 mph. A two-car family would use it to commute to work and make other local trips, while maintaining the gas or hybrid car for longer expeditions.  Such an electric could use conventional DC motor with a pulse-width armature control and provision for regenerative braking.  Almost any  battery would do, maybe even the good old lead-acid type.  Let's use gas engines and electric for what each does best. 

MVRS
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Iron
Re: Electric Sports Car
MVRS   4/16/2013 5:18:21 PM
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There are a fair number of them.  Just look around on the web.

Charles Murray
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Re: Electric Sports Car
Charles Murray   4/16/2013 6:35:44 PM
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I agree with everything you say, J-Allen. But remember, they're only building 999 of these cars. I don't think they see a big demand for this, but there will be enthusiasts who want it.

far911
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Re: Electric Sports Car
far911   4/17/2013 5:00:35 AM
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You have a good point j-allen. The main problem with gas engines is that they drain a lot of fuel in the city limits when the traffic is at its peak. Electric cars can help in this regard with their limited performance capabilities since nobody will be needing a superfast electric car when they're stuck in traffic and moving at a snail's pace. 

William K.
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Re: Electric Sports Car
William K.   4/17/2013 3:55:18 PM
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The fuel consumption of gas engine cars in heavy city traffic could be reduced a whole lot by implementing a stop-start engine management system, and even more if drivers were allowed to use manual control as well. At least some drivers could improve on the benefits of the automated system by a large margin.

Charles Murray
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Re: Electric Sports Car
Charles Murray   4/17/2013 6:35:05 PM
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Yes, start-stop will be important to reducing fuel consumption, William K. We talk a lot about electric cars and plug-in hybrids because that's what people want to hear about. But the truth is that mass production of start-stop will probably save more fuel than electric cars, just because of the sheer numbers. Most expert say that 30%-50% of new vehicles will have start-stop by 2020. A few predict that 100% could have the feature by 2025. Automakers are waiting to see how customers receive it. If they accept it, we'll see a mass move to start-stop.

William K.
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Re: Electric Sports Car
William K.   4/18/2013 11:10:34 AM
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The benefits could start a lot sooner if the auto companies were willing to sell a manual stop-start package. That could be availablke by 2015 model year if they chose to push it a bit. 

Right now it is not even possible to reduce fuel consumption by shifting into neutral and coasting, since the engine control algorithm keeps the engine speed up until the vehicle stops moving. That is probably to provide power steering assist, but it is a fuel waster regardless of the reason. Of course there is that other question which is do we really need power steering in the lighter cars today?

Charles Murray
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Re: Electric Sports Car
Charles Murray   9/12/2013 5:58:52 PM
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I see that Detroit Electric plans to start taking orders for the vehicle late this year. Looks like it will soon be time for an editorial update.

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Electric Sports Car
William K.   11/4/2013 8:33:38 PM
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Back in 1968, or so, we went through a design exercise for an electric dragster with 4-wheel drive. The plan was to utilize 4 series wound DC motors, surplus, of course, and directly drive each wheel. We figured that for the few seconds to go a quater mile we could get away with a lot of overdrive. We were hoping for at least 1600HP in a car under 1000 pounds. The secret was the huge diesel generator truck parked back behind the pits, and the copper strips alongside the strip. Like a giat slotcar without the slot. It would have been a fantastic night time show, and it would have really been a recrd breaker. Unfortunately it was way more than we could scrape up to even start building. It could have been the 3 1/2 second car. Not quite silent until launch, but close.

bpenfold
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Old Article
bpenfold   11/13/2013 9:09:31 AM
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What? Why did I get an email today from Design News about this old article?

Chuck_IAG
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A real cutie
Chuck_IAG   4/16/2013 4:14:47 PM
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I'm not sure what (or where) the market is, but if I had an extra wad of cash around I'd consider it.  Rob asks: "Can a car company enter the auto market successfully with a single offering?"   Well, of course!  Haven't you heard of the Delorean?  Oh... wait...  Never mind.  You probably meant can they do it SUCCESSFULLY, huh?  Probably not.

But still, it's cute.  And great range for a smallish battery pack.  The 2400 lb curb weight is what Porsche needs to shoot for in their EV.  Maybe there's a buyout on the horizon.

Francois Racicot
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Iron
Gear box in electric car?? Really?
Francois Racicot   4/16/2013 4:49:56 PM
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Not sure I understand the need for a gearbox in an electric car, unless you need to "feel" like a combustion engine car...  Or is it because they are using very small motors that could not sustain both high accelerations and top speeds ?

William K.
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Re: Gear box in electric car?? Really?
William K.   4/16/2013 5:12:30 PM
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The motor type is described as "AC Synchronous", which is a type of motor that has a definite best operation spread of speeds. The DC series type of motor is quite different in it's speed-torque curve. So for most efficient operation different gear ratios will be quite beneficial. Study the curves and you will understand why that is.

Charles Murray
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Re: Gear box in electric car?? Really?
Charles Murray   4/16/2013 6:37:41 PM
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I'm going to study those curves, William K. I had presumed it was more about the familiar feel of a traditional sports car, but now I'll have to check.

William K.
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Re: Gear box in electric car?? Really?
William K.   4/16/2013 9:56:56 PM
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Charles, a series-wound DC brush type motor would be a very good motor for a dragster because the torque is greatest at zero speed. The challenge there is that the current draw is greatest also. The other challenge is the range of speeds available with a given motor design. The big problem is that as the speed increases the back EMF also rises, which reduces the current, and thus the power. So to keep accellerating the supply voltage needs to keep increasing. Thus the need for gear shifting, unless the car finishes the quatrter mile befor the motor torque starts to fall off.

Francois Racicot
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Re: Gear box in electric car?? Really?
Francois Racicot   4/17/2013 9:45:12 AM
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Thanks for this explanation, William.

WV1800es
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What's it look like inside??
WV1800es   7/31/2013 9:33:27 AM
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A bit disappointed by the slide show, I'd like to see what the controls of an electric sports car look like.  As an aside, with this many auto articles appearing, Design News may have to see if Dan Neil's got any spare time...:-)

j-allen
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Gold
Detroit Electric sports car
j-allen   11/4/2013 5:43:15 PM
Do we need another over-priced super-performance electric vehicle that tries to mimic a gas-powered racer?  How about a simple, reliable machine that just gets you to work and back and  handles local trips?  I suspect that families could buy such a basic electric , and also have a gas car for longer trips or a super-powered one to help the man of the house to compensate for his masculine "shortcomings."


Let's let electric cars do what  they do best. 

Thinking_J
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Yea.. likely a Lotus chassis
Thinking_J   11/4/2013 6:09:31 PM
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Naperlou:

I think you are very close....

I think it is based on the EXIGE from Lotus.. not the Elise..

Very small changes in the body lines.

And a very good place to start .. when going for performance and light weight (Lotus).

 

Thinking_J
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Platinum
short comings?? bad / old/ inappropriate joke
Thinking_J   11/4/2013 7:21:02 PM
J-Allen:
Do we need jokes about "moral smugness" directed at Prius drivers?

We need another Nissan Leaf? Prius? Volt? etc... how many do we need?

I am not really sure what a electric car does "best"...?

"best" illusion of a zero pollution solution?.. (not zero pollution, not even close, even if you charged it with solar cells at home exclusively).... Lower pollution? most of the time (not all)

Electric cars at present certainly are not the cheapest cost per mile for ownership. Or highest performance. Or ?...

In the future? Maybe that will change.

Seriouly, nearly every technological advancement isn't adopted by what the general population sees as a "valid use". Most often, the adoption and advancement of technology is fueled by "morally questionable" uses ( war, greed and yes, sexual desire). Only later do they evolve in to products without moral burden.

So who cares about the social impact of 100 or 1,000 cars?.. When millions are being made.

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