Detroit Electric Roadster at Concours d’Elegance of America

At one point, electric vehicles outsold their gasoline-fueled competitors.

The Concours d’Elegance of America this year will display the usual collection of rare, classic and iconic cars, but for the first time at any Concours, a rare 1914 Detroit Electric Roadster will be on display, according to the car show.

This Model 46 Cape Top Roadster originally had a blue body, but has since been restored to its current black and maroon color combination. In addition to the Roadster, another “first” electric car, the 1916 Brougham will be on display.

Thirteen thousand Detroit Electric cars  were produced from 1907 to 1939 by the Anderson Electric Car Company, which changed its name to The Detroit Electric Car Company in 1920. 

At one point, these EVs outsold their gasoline-fueled competitors, with the likes of Clara Ford, Thomas Edison and John D. Rockefeller as owners. The 125-year history of electric vehicles will be among the notable events celebrated at the Concours in Plymouth, Michigan.

AutoInformed readers know that this past spring Chinese Geely Automobile and a revived Detroit Electric brand announced a partnership to develop electric vehicles and electric drive systems for sale in China. (Read on Geely and Detroit Electric to Develop Electric Cars for China)

Geely, also the owner of Volvo, claims it will sell EVs under Geely’s Emgrand nameplate starting in Q1 of 2014. The prototype EC7-EV, first shown at Shanghai last April, is co-branded with ‘Detroit Electric – Technology.’ The EC7-EV will be sold to business users and public-sector organizations, and the two companies are forecasting sales of around 3,000 units during the first 12 months, optimistically growing to as many as 30,000 in three years’ time.

The new EC7-EV model has a claimed driving range of 165 km per charge, and with long-range options about 258 km per charge. The press release promises continue with acceleration of 0-100 km/h under eight seconds and a top speed exceeding 200 km/h. (As always, it’s easier to generate such numbers in press releases than actual production cars. We’ll see.)

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