With a projected range of 125 miles and a 0-60 mile per hour acceleration time of less than 8.5 seconds, Saab's first-ever electric vehicle, the 9-3 ePower, brings the automaker into the battery-powered mix with authority. Based on the 9-3 Sport Combi wagon, the Saab 9-3 ePower's cargo-hauling abilities offer versatility that's typically absent in the battery-powered segment.
The 9-3 ePower packs a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack developed by Boston-Power and an electric propulsion system developed by Sweden's Electroengine. The electric goodies come together to output 184-horsepower through a single-speed transmission that propels the ePower to a top speed of 93 mph. This prototype features an electro-hydraulic steering and electrically driven A/C setup. The ePower will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month and is set to undergo fleet testing next year in Sweden.
Saab chief executive officer, Jan Ake Jonsson, outlined the importance of the ePower program in this way:
But remember, the last time that Jonsson was prodded about a target release date for Saab's mass-produced EV, he stated, "Everybody is looking at that question. Nobody has an answer. It will take some time."By 2015, annual global sales of electric vehicles are expected to reach 500,000 units, and Saab is determined to be represented in this important, growing segment. The 9-3 ePower program is our first step towards developing a potential production vehicle that will deliver the sort of advanced performance our customers expect.
So, don't expect to see the ePower in showrooms anytime soon. It could be 2016 before Saab readies something of the electric variety for the public. Hit the jump for more info on Saab's first-ever EV. Hat tip to Josh!