The company plans to put the new Detroit Electric in showrooms in Europe and China in quarter 1 of 2010, then the U.S. in quarter 3.
The Detroit Electric could be the future... but it's also a trip back in time:
The original Detroit Electric won customers like John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Thomas Edison. Perhaps Chrysler should skip Fiat and merge with Detroit Electric; then we might see our modern captains of industry and invention buzzing merrily down the thoroughfare in Detroit Electrics next year!
In early part of the 20th century, Detroit Electric was one of a number of electric car manufacturers. These cars drove only about 20 miles per hour and had limited range but were considered suitable for city use and, by some, easier to drive than gasoline cars, which required a manual start.
In 1900, 28 percent of all cars produced were electric, but 20 years later the industry was all but dead, according to Michael Brian Schiffer, author of a history of electric cars in the U.S. The original Detroit Electric went out of business in the 1930s [Martin LaMonica, "Detroit Electric Resurrected as $25,000 Electric Car," CNet News, 2009.03.30].