National Electric Vehicle Sweden Saab EVNational Electric Vehicle Sweden, the Saab-owning Swedish holding company that is in turn owned by Chinese investors, has some problems (i.e., no cash). But that isn't stopping NEVS from showing off a prototype Saab 9-3 Electric Vehicle this week.

But wait, you might be saying, didn't NEVS already start production of a 9-3 EV? Yes, indeed, and the vehicle displayed this week was indeed built at the Saab plant in Trollhättan in May as one of those early pilot builds. A modified Saab 9-3 Aero Sedan, the EV has had the lithium-ion battery pack jammed under the floor, so all of the cargo and passenger space of the gas-powered 9-3 remains available. "The starting point for our development of the Electric Vehicle project was to maintain all the good attributes and characteristics," said NEVS' vice president of engineering and product development, Stig Nodin in a statement. You can find the press release below.

The li-ion pack comes from Beijing National Battery Technology (which is owned by the same company that owns NEVS) and can offer a range of about 120 miles, NEVS says. The prototype also has a 100-kW electric motor that offers 140 horsepower that provides a 0-60 miles per hour time of 10 seconds and a top speed of just 75 miles per hour. That's unlikely to be fast enough to outrun Saab's creditors, but NEVS says that the prototype is here "to serve as a reference for specification of coming production model(s)," so let's hope the speed number can be increased while the range at least stays the same.
Show full PR text
Today Nevs presented the Saab 9-3 Electric Vehicle as designed and produced as part of a prototype series in Trollhättan.

The car is a modified Saab 9-3 Aero Sedan where the batteries are placed under the floor, keeping the full interior space as well as the luggage compartment intact. With that, the Saab 9-3 EV is just as practical as the Saab 9-3 Aero with gasoline engine.

The Saab 9-3's famous driving-experience is of course preserved in the EV, helped by its low center of gravity and a 50/50 weight distribution.

"We are happy to present the result of Nevs engineering into a real Saab EV product. The Saab cars' well-known performance and safety is maintained and we foresee a very good product for the market. When we developed the Saab 9-3 Aero Sedan Model Year 14, we focused on enhancing the driving experience, safety and quality. And the starting point for our development of the Electric Vehicle project was to maintain all the good attributes and characteristics ", said Stig Nodin, Vice President Engineering and Product Development.

The car shown in Trollhättan today is one from the first prototype series of cars and it was produced in the Trollhättan plant in May.

The car is equipped with lithium-ion batteries from Beijing National Battery Technology, a company within the Chinese group of green tech companies owned by Kai Johan Jiang's company National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd .

In this phase of the development the performance of the prototype series are limited to:

The range for this prototype series of cars is approximately 200 km.
Acceleration 0-100 km/h, 0-60 mph 10 sec.
Maximum speed of 120 km/h.
Engine power 140 hp, 100 kW.

The prototype series have multiple reasons:

To enhance the understanding of EV's in the complete company.
To serve as a reference for specification of coming production model(s).
To be used as a test bench for technical development.
To verify the manufacturing setup.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well... how relevant is it to already established(popular on the road) EVs? Leaf, Volt, Prius plug-in, upcoming Soul EV, and likes.
        • 1 Year Ago
        It isn't relevant in developed auto markets. However, this will be sold in China where auto manufacturers routinely sell models that are 10-15 years old. VW still sells the Mark IV Golf in China and that car was first produced in 1997.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Where can I invest...
      • 1 Year Ago's an EV based on an aged unpopular car from a company that folded. To add to that it's also incredibly mediocre and much slower than a SAAB should be.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't understand why they don't produce the modern, and excellent, 9-5 instead of that rather dated piece.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Plus the 9-5 platform is super heavy: the biggest enemy to EVs
        Andrew Pappas
        • 1 Year Ago
        They don't own the 9-5. That's one of the reasons Saab couldn't sell. Mechanically the last 9-5 was a Buick lacrosse / Chevy impala / Cadillac XTS. GM didn't want to let that intellectual property go to a Chinese company, which is why the company was sold piecemeal. The 93 is an old platform, which is why they can mess around with it. It a decent enough proof of concept. The 75mph isn't as big a deal as is limited range and recharge times.
      roberto tomás
      140hp and a 0-100km of 10 seconds are not earth shattering by any means, but certainly enough to push it over 75mph ... I think it must be electronically limited for some reason
      • 1 Year Ago
      That car won't bring Saab up to speed any faster then that thing goes 0-60.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla should buy them out. The economies of scale opportunity here should be exploited full advantage.
      • 1 Year Ago
      CODA all over again
        • 1 Year Ago
        Meh . . . I have a little more faith in NEVS. Not much more but a little bit.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope no one is on here to complain about the top speed of 75mph. Too late, I see that train arrived ! Although I understand that there will always be those who expect every new EV to be a track car, most of us coming to this site are educated enough to realise that aero losses impact the range big time whenever speeds exceed 70mph. Saab doesn't quote the battery capacity of its concept car but since the 80Kw Leaf has a 24Kwh battery pack and going upscale with the Tesla Model S, its 85Kwh battery supplies a 270Kw motor. Doing the math for the Tesla and Nissan designs reveals that they seem to have equivalent peak electrical loadings. One would therefore imagine that the 100Kw motor in the Saab would demand at least a 30Kwh pack. For their Model S, in current production, I've noticed that Tesla is careful to specify range using the 55 mph benchmark where they quote for 320 miles with the 85Kwh pack. In practice, owners have often been seeing 265 miles on their console display though this could be the vehicle adjusting range for that individual driver's style. After all, who drives at 55mph anywhere in a Telsa ? Except in a 40mph zone that is. The Leaf real life mileage being 84 miles. The estimated larger Saab battery should be good for 100 miles. I already staked my position regarding top speed. In the entry level luxury electric car market 75-80mph should be fine if some performance is there also. Prospective buyers of electric cars are going to have to accept that it is unrealistic to expect Model S performance from vehicles priced as much as $40k below. Prospective buyers of electric cars are going to have to accept. That, in general, you have to buy battery range to get performance. That when performance is limited then acceleration can be traded for top speed or top speed can be traded for acceleration. The latter option is not yet available. I predict it will be offered as the market expands. The Nissan Leaf is geared for 93mph but has a 0 to 60 mph in 10 secs is a case in point. The press release says the 100Kw concept does 0 to 60 in 10 seconds ? Considering the 100Kw EV1 was around 8.5 secs, Saab needs to try harder. The paragraph below is just a technical description with some material already mentioned. The advantage to the powertrain design of a lower top speed, as with the 75 mph here, is that you can gear higher probably as much as a 14 :1 ratio while maintaining the maximum rpm of the motor as high as 14000 rpm or greater. Naturally the larger ratio increases the gearbox's ability to multiply the motor torque going to the axle and will improve the acceleration numbers or for a city car it will allow the use of a smaller less costly and less heavy motor. The limiting factor for power is the maximum safe C rate allowed by the battery pack design. The rule is that the larger the battery the better the performance you should expect. Although as previously mentioned the size of the Nissan motor matches the ba
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why does this EV need to go faster than 75 mph? That will cover the speed limit on most highways and EV's are generally city cars anyway. With a range of 120 miles (city) no one is going to buy one of these for highway cruising. BTW, the Nissan Leaf has a range of 120 miles and a top speed of 89 mph.
        • 1 Year Ago
        The nissanusa website only claims a range of 84 miles.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yeah, 75 mph is enough. OK, it would be nice to have it do 80 so you can pass on the freeway. But you really don't want to drive at speeds that high because your battery will empty out damn fast. You'll end up with a range of 50 miles if you drive 80.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good luck . . . . but I doubt they make it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Re: "so let's hope the speed number can be increased while the range at least stays the same." Yes, it could move the speed limiter up. But that doesn't mean you could go as fast as you want and get the stated range. No car in history, has ever been rated that way. Its simple, the faster you go the more energy is needed. No car can do 80 mph and still get the EPA rating. Maybe for a second or two, but not continuously. The Chevy Volt is limited to 101 mph. Which many have proven it can do without a problem. But your not going to get the rated range or mpg while doing it.
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