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.
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.