U.K.-based Detroit Electric signs a joint-venture deal with Far East Smarter Energy Group of China, helping secure investment of $1.8 billion for the development and production of a range of electric vehicles over the next three years.
The JV aims to sell 100,000 Detroit Electric vehicles a year by 2020 in the rapidly expanding global EV market. To do this, it will spend $370 million on Detroit Electric’s European operations over the next four years.
The investment will finance the completion of the final homologation phase of its all-electric SP:01 sports car and the start of volume production later this year at the company’s Leamington Spa facilities, 100 miles northwest (161 km) of London.
This will see the creation of 120 engineering jobs and 100 manufacturing jobs.
The JV also will establish a design, R&D, testing and production facility focused on the development of a range of new Detroit Electric vehicles. This includes an all-new battery electric SUV going into 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 more than 400 directly employed staff. It expects many more indirect jobs will result at local businesses supplying services and support to the site.
Detroit Electric Chairman and CEO Albert Lam says the company has worked hard over a long period to establish the JV and to secure funding for its ambitious new EV program.
Yixing, China-based Far East Smarter Energy Group, a publicly traded company on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, primarily is engaged in the design, development and manufacture of electrical systems, battery manufacturing and technologies for transportation and energy storage.