Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 4, 2013

Business in Brief: 04/04/2013

FROM WIRE REPORTS

---- — Top state court names 18 business judges

LANSING — The Michigan Supreme Court has named 18 circuit judges to serve in special business courts in counties around the state.

The high court announced the appointments Wednesday. It says they follow a 2012 Michigan law to create courts to handle cases between businesses in which at least $25,000 is at stake.

The law mandates a business court in any circuit with three or more judges, while smaller circuits have the option of creating them.

Parties in the cases can be businesses themselves or their employees, directors, owners or shareholders.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young says business courts “complement Michigan judicial branch’s three-part reform plan” that focuses on performance, technology and efficiency.

Detroit Electric to sell $135,000 sports car

DETROIT — More than 100 years after it began making cars, Detroit Electric is back in business.

The automaker on Wednesday is unveiling in Detroit the SP:01, a limited-edition electric sports car.

Detroit Electric was founded in 1906 and built 13,000 electric cars. Among its customers were Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford’s wife, Clara. But the company halted production in 1939, overcome by the Great Depression and drivers’ growing preference for gasoline-fueled engines.

Detroit Electric was revived five years ago by Albert Lam, a former Lotus Cars and Apple Inc. executive. The company has set up offices in Detroit’s historic Fisher Building and plans to build its cars in Michigan.

The two-seat, $135,000 SP:01 has a top speed of 155 miles per hour and can go from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, the same as BMW’s high-performance M5 sedan. Detroit Electric says it will be the world’s fastest pure electric production car.

Its closest competitor, the electric Tesla Model S sedan, goes from zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph.

Detroit Electric said the SP:01 can go for an estimated 190 miles between battery charges. A home charging station can fully charge the car in a little more than four hours. The charging unit can detect if the home loses power and use the car’s stored electrical energy as a backup power source.

Detroit Electric will make 999 SP:01s. They’ll be sold worldwide starting in August.